New Life Sunday – Keep away…

Last night I took the kids to the pool for a short while before it closed at 8:00pm. The sun had begun setting and so the temperature was cooling down. FYI…I am not a big fan of shivering. It took a little bit, but after the kids coaxed me into it, I took the plunge and went underwater.

Pretty soon we were all playing keep away…boys against girls. Which is actually pretty fair, because I am bigger than the two girls and they are bigger than Dallas…Isaiah likes to be around the action but has a hard enough time balancing on his floaties so he doesn’t get real involved and Ian is usually trying to find ways to drink the water and could care less about keep-away.

We went back and forth for a while…and just so you know, I am not beyond dunking the girls if it means that the boys will win the ball back.

There was one time that Alexa was just inches from the ball and I was behind her. I grabbed her just before she was able to get to the ball and moved her out of the way (nicely :)) to get it for the boys.

It was all in fun and I will admit….overall the girls beat us, but not without a battle :).

As I consider the fun we had last night at the pool, there is a part of it that relates exactly to the sermon series that I begin on Sunday, “The Unapplied Teachings of Jesus–Love your enemies.”

The Jews actually had begun to popularize the idea that it was righteous to hate your enemies. The nuance of the word usually translated ‘hate’ is ignore, reject, treat as though they do not exist, and did not typically include vindictiveness.  For the Jews, an enemy was anyone who intercepted or was hostile toward their purpose.

So in essence to hate your enemies was to ignore or reject anyone who posed a threat to your agenda.

There are many examples of people who “get in the way” of our agenda’s and in the first century it was ok to ignore and reject those people because the agenda was the priority.

Jesus changed all of that when he said to “love our enemies.” Among many other applications this means that we are called to prioritize people over our agenda’s even when those people threaten our nice tidy plans.

I still can’t get myself to apply this principle during a friendly game of “keep away” but I am ready to make this teaching a part of my Christian life.

I hope you can come on Sunday to hear more about “loving our enemies.” And afterwards we are having a church picnic, so maybe we can enjoy a fun game of keep away there…

Have a great evening!
Troy

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