Did the sun rise for you this morning?
Did you do anything to deserve that?
God gives his blessings on you and on me without our having done anything to deserve them.
The sun also rose for the people you do not like, for the leaders of ISIS, for the candidate in the US presidential elections that you did not want to win.
God is scandalously indiscriminate in his blessing.
Read through the verse slowly.
You have heard the words before, but try to not skip over them because of familiarity.
Trace the words Love and Pray with your finger.
This is a hard teaching. To Love is hard. To Pray is easier, even if we have to do it through gritted teeth.
Bring one person to mind – someone you know personally, or a public figure, or the nameless leader of a group.
Now you must pray for them. Jesus commanded it. Not pray against them, pray for them. Every person, however misguided, is loved by God and made in his image.
It is hard. I understand. Here are some words to help.
You are gracious and merciful beyond my understanding.
I ask your blessing on … and on their family and friends.
Please calm anger and heal wounds.
Bring peace where there is hatred, and mercy where there is bitterness.
Thank you that while this is beyond me, it is not beyond you.