The events of this week have rocked many to the core. The Sydney siege brought home the reality that even among our relative comfort and safety here in Australia, events can take a quick and dramatic turn. What began as a normal day for many people will now forever be etched in their memory as a day of horror and sadness. Yet as we were glued to our TV’s watching the siege unfold, were are reminded that we live in a world that is not at peace. Added to this event were the reports that came through regarding the death of more than 100 people in a Pakistan school. Whether these are the actions of radical terrorism or a mentally unstable individuals, it highlights the very fact that something is not right.
How are we to respond as followers of the one who was born as the Prince of Peace? Rather than combating extreme hate with further hate, God’s word reminds us that we are to combat those who would oppose us with a different type of extremism.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5: 43 – 45a