Love Your Enemies!

From Rev Iain Baxter, All Saints Chiang Mai

Dear Friends,

Jesus said “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”  Why did he say such a thing?  In the remainder of the sentence he gives the answer: “so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.”  We are called to love our enemies, because we are called to love all people, just as God loves all people.

Those of you who are English, may have been following the debate in the Church of England General Synod on same-sex relationships and marriage.  This is an area where the Church is divided and it is easy to see the “other” as the “enemy”.  I am rejoicing in the result, which rejected a report saying that marriage could only be between a man and woman, and that sexual expression in any other context was sinful.  However, we must still remember to love those who have a different view, for only then are we acting as children of our Father in heaven.

This week at All Saints, we will be looking at those very verses which call upon us to love our enemies, as we read from Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18, 1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23, and Matthew 5:38-48, and we will be singing the hymns Immortal Invisible God only Wise, They’ll know we are Christians by our Love, One Bread One Body, and Stand up stand up for Jesus!  The readings can be found via this link!

Next week our Theology on Tap group will move to a new venue: The Pub!  Our next meeting will be on Friday 24th February at The Pub, beginning at 7 p.m.  Our topic will be “Sin and Repentance”.  All are welcome!

It is the British tradition to eat pancakes on the day before Ash Wednesday, which this year falls on Wednesday 1st March. The day is known as Shrove Tuesday or, more popularly, Pancake Day.  At All Saints there will be a Pancake Potluck next Sunday, 26th February, following the morning service. We will supply the pancakes, please bring toppings to share! All are welcome to join!

A little further ahead, Lent begins on Wednesday 1st March when we will be having our Ash Wednesday service at 7 p.m.

God bless,

Iain

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