Ever since Jesus began his ministry, those who have dedicated their lives to following him have wrestled with the total paradox inherent in that calling. The gospel demands of us to feed the hungry; we are called to show mercy when no else will extend it; and, most importantly, we are called to love our neighbor and — toughest of all — even our enemies.
Living in secular society, this has been an ongoing struggle for the church to be true to the teaching of Jesus — no chocolate Easter bunnies or jolly old St. Nick but living out the calling from the Sermon on the Mount.
As Christians, be prepared to toss out the message we receive in our jobs, homes and community: crush the competition, win at all costs and now even paint a target on them. The lack of basic civility has become epidemic in our society, not just in politics. We have become engulfed with the stain of constant anger. Tragically this insidious disease has spread to our church.
The rest of this article is only available to subscribers.
© 2013 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers