Let yourself become open to God and the knowledge that comes from the Word. Ask God for peace at this time.
John 15:18-20, 26-27 (NRSV)
“If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me before it hated you. If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. Because you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world—therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘Servants are not greater than their master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also.
“When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.”
Hatred shouldn’t have power over us. I have very vivid memories of the Second World War. Newspapers, billboards, and people taught us to hate those against whom our country was fighting. Not long after the war, I lived in Germany. I remember being absolutely scared to death to travel there. However, I made some good German friends and I found out that they were just like we were. I think I had envisioned “monsters.” I am thankful that hatred is something I could unlearn.
Loving and living for Christ can put us at odds with others, both in this country and around the world. Growing up in the United States, a country founded on religious freedom, I have not experienced any hatred because I am a Christian. But persecution is a promise from Jesus, so it shouldn’t be a surprise. How might hate and persecution be meant for good? Maybe they will move each of us from being a lukewarm Christian into a strong one.
The Spirit of God is also alive and well. If we allow God to be the center of our lives, we will overcome the hatred of the world.
Dear Lord, I belong to you. Help me to visualize Christ living in me. With your Holy Spirit I can master hate and turn it into good. Amen.
Go with God.