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Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you

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But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
(Matthew 5.44 NRSV)

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There was a cartoon not long ago picturing three little boys coming to the manger scene bearing gifts. The first two boys brought traditional gifts representing the gold and frankincense. The third little boy, however, came to the baby Jesus with a very large box of disposable diapers! Mary could only have wished! Someone, though, in that cartoon had captured love made practical.

Christmas is that time of year when we try to say to our family and friends how much they mean to us. A gift may not be the best way. And certainly gifts are given with many motivations in mind. But for most of us there is more joy in giving than receiving. We need this opportunity to express our feelings in a concrete way.

Hopefully, though, our love is not a narrow and exclusive thing. Christmas usually causes us to be more thoughtful about the needs of people we don't even know. It causes us to be more mindful of the needs of those less fortunate.

A baby was left on the doorstep many years ago of a home in Georgetown, Pennsylvania. A widow was the head of that homea widow with several children to look after. But she took in that baby and loved it like her own. In the evenings she would read great books to her children, and one of them, at least, developed a great taste for literature. Today that baby abandoned on a doorstep is America's most prolific writerJames Michener.

James Michener's life is a triumph of the unselfish love of that widowed mother.


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Dear God, build in me your unselfish love. Amen.
Ron Newhouse
 

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