After eight days of a lovely trip visiting family in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, I returned to hear of the bombing of the Westminster Bridge. I was reminded that there is evil all around us and people on a personal and political level who wish us harm. The quest for power and domination is a sum game where someone wins and another has to lose, but that is not how Jesus demonstrates his Father’s kingdom.
Last week, I slipped into taking pleasure in the demise of my “enemies”, hoping that they would fail in any viewpoints with which I disagreed. I had taken on an “us versus them” mentality in which there are no compromises and in the end, no one wins.
Scripture verses tell us to “Love your enemies” (Luke 6:27) and in Proverbs 24:17: “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice.”
I have always struggled with these verses as I sincerely want the good guys to win and the bad guys to be defeated. I know that Jesus is in charge and that the victory has already been won, but it still doesn’t change the day-to-day competition and hatred that we face. I find myself relishing my enemies’ failures.
But, yesterday’s scripture reading from Ephesians (5:11-14) describes how we should respond:
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
Rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.’
We cannot allow ourselves to be swallowed up by the sin around us. There is evil and we should name it for what it is with Satan as our biggest enemy. As Christians we have a responsibility to expose evil with the light of Christ so that others are not swept up in sin.
Jesus has already won the fight; we are assured of the outcome of the war.