Today's Gospel is from Matthew 18: 15-20 in which we learn how to resolve conflict. (Go alone to see what you can do & if that doesn't work? Bring witnesses & if that doesn't work? Tell the church & if that doesn't work? Treat them like a Gentile or tax collector, i.e. love them!)
"Forgiving Lord, I do not want my enemies forgiven.
I want you to kill them (as sometimes prays the psalmist!).
Actually, I would prefer to pray that you punish them
rather than kill them, since I would like to watch them suffer.
Also, I fear losing my enemies,
since my hates are more precious to me than my loves.
If I lost my hates, my enemies,
how would I know who I am?
Yet you have bent us toward reconciliation,
that we may be able to pass one another Christ's peace.
It is a terrible thing to ask of us.
I'm sure I cannot do it, but you are a wily God able to accomplish miracles.
May we be struck alive with the miracle of your grace,
even to being reconciled with ourselves. Amen."
from Prayers Plainly Spoken, by Stanley Hauerwas, p. 95
Scripture source: Matthew 18:15-20
Cartoon source: AgnusDay.org