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Seventh Sunday After Epiphany C

Seventh Sunday After Epiphany C

Week of February 14, 2022 | Sunday, February 20, 2022

Luke 6:27-38 

“And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them” (vs. 29).

Jesus’ words here, coming as they do at the conclusion of multiple descriptions of how we are to “love our enemies,” should not be identified with any specific “love commandment.” Jesus’ words here fall into that category which is not unique to the Judeo-Christian worldview but transcends cultural boundaries being found (as I once read) in almost forty different religious and cultural contexts. This “Golden Rule” is not the “love your enemies” of vs. 27; nor is it the “love your neighbor as yourself” of Luke 10:27; nor is it the “love commandment” of John 13:34. The Golden Rule presents an idealized egalitarianism that evens out the disparity between you and “the other;” and delivers the expectation (and trust) of equal treatment. Unlike what my long-time conversation partner has claimed as the real “Golden Rule:” “He who has the gold, rules,” Jesus’ words are idealism at its finest rather than realism at its worst.

Prayers from one who loves ideals and hates how those ideals are devoured by the reality of this world…

Our Father, who art in heaven… grant to me the reality of your kingdom that I am not led astray by my own ideals. Merciful Father, hear my prayer.

Our Father, who art in heaven… grant to me such work of your Holy Spirit that I am held in the faith of Jesus Christ. Merciful Father, hear my prayer.

Our Father, who art in heaven… grant to me such faith as that which can endure having its ideals devoured by the reality of this world. Merciful Father, hear my prayer.

Our Father, who art in heaven… grant to me such neighbors that they, too, being caught up in the faith of Jesus Christ, gather with me as the body of Christ himself. Merciful Father, hear my prayer.

 Our Father, who art in heaven… grant to me neighbors of such insistence that I cannot help but acknowledge their pleas and assist them in providing their daily bread. Merciful Father, hear my prayer.

Our Father, who art in heaven… grant to me such a neighbor as the Institute of Lutheran Theology so that I am available to help it in its every need. Merciful Father, hear my prayer.

Our Father, who art in heaven… grant to me such hope that I may endure until the day of Jesus Christ. Merciful Father, hear my prayer.

Into your hands, we commend all for which we pray; in the name of Christ, Amen.

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