“You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you that you must not oppose those who want to hurt you. If people slap you on your right cheek, you must turn the left cheek to them as well. When they wish to haul you to court and take your shirt, let them have your coat too. When they force you to go one mile, go with them two. Give to those who ask, and don’t refuse those who wish to borrow from you.
“You have heard that it was said, You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who harass you so that you will be acting as children of your Father who is in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both the evil and the good and sends rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love only those who love you, what reward do you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing? Don’t even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore, just as your heavenly Father is complete in showing love to everyone, so also you must be complete.
Lord, we release the desire to return harm for harm.
(Pause and breathe. Release any anger or desires for revenge that may be wounding your spirit.)
Savior, free us from cycles of violence.
(Breathe, don’t stop breathing…)
Jesus, you promised the hurting a future where there would be no more hurt. You promised healing, justice and peace. Fulfill your promise.
You showed us we are all connected, our futures are connected, the rains fall on us all.
So we choose your way of love. We trust that you will make all things right.
Redeem our enemies, heal their wounds, give them a taste of peace.
That we might all glory in lasting joy. Amen!