"Easier Said Than Done"
September 26, 2007
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:44
Some time ago I wrote a Daily Devotion on how impressed I was by the Amish of Pennsylvania. Maybe you remember that devotion which spoke highly of those Christians who were trying to recover from the murder of five of their children. Rather than speaking of anger and getting even, they talked about forgiveness and a commitment to pray for the family of the murderer.
Not so long afterwards, I received an e-mail from one of our Daily Devotion readers who lives in that part of Amish Country. From personal experience, she most reluctantly shared how, when it comes to the treatment of animals that will be sold as pets, some Amish don’t exactly walk on water. Before I proceed with this devotion, I want to acknowledge the fact that all of us, even the Amish, are sinners who stumble.
Having said that, allow me to comment on a recent action of the Amish who were deeply wounded by the deaths and ongoing injuries which resulted from that shooting. After the shooting, people from all over the world were moved by the pain of those girls and their families. Not knowing exactly what to do, these folks, in sympathy, sent money. They sent $4.3 million dollars to be used where it might do some good.
When I heard of the large amount, I asked myself, “How would I distribute that kind of cash?” Many worthy causes came into my mind. I could feed some who are hungry, get medicine to impoverished Africa, help my church with its building program, contribute to the education of some promising scholars, put The Lutheran Hour® on a few hundred more stations. I had a lot of thoughts on how that money could best be spent.
The Amish came up with one that never occurred to me.
The Amish decided to give an ‘unspecified contribution’ to mother-of-three, Marie Roberts. Marie Roberts may be needy, but she is also the wife of the man who tied up and shot the ten Amish girls.
When Jesus was with us He said, “Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you.” Yes, I know Marie wasn’t guilty of any crime other than guilt by association. Even so, it pleases me to see the Amish leading the way and setting an example for the rest of us. They want to make sure this lady is not shunned for her husband’s sins. I think it must please the Savior to know some of His people have heard His words. Not wanting to become ‘hostages to hostility’, these Amish are going to love their enemies.
They’re doing exactly what I would do, if it had ever occurred to me. The fact is, it didn’t. This is precisely why I’m going to try harder in the future. Won’t you join me in doing a job that is easier said than done?
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for loving me, Your one-time enemy. Thank you for the forgiveness You give so freely. May I share Your forgiveness freely with others. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries