The INCLUSION rhythm challenges our way of life that determines who is ‘’in’’ and who is ‘’out’’ in our lives.      As human beings we often gravitate towards creating communities and friendships with people who are ‘’just like us’’.    This is natural, because it is easier, more comfortable and less confronting.   However, Jesus doesn’t seem to have a high priority for comfort when He tells stories and teaches His disciples in following.    He puts together a disciple group of very diverse members and He includes people that were excluded by the Jewish community at the time:   women, Samaritans  Gentiles, etc.     Furthermore, he often speaks about loving one’s enemy.

Question for comments:   What does it mean to you to love an enemy?

Exercise for the week:   Take some time to consider who you would consider to be an enemy… or, who do you really dislike and not get along with?    Now, take some time to think what it would mean to love them this week?

“Love for enemies is the key to the solution of the problems of our world,” Dr. King wrote. “Jesus is not an impractical idealist; he is the practical realist. Our responsibility as Christians is to discover the meaning of this command and seek passionately to live it out.” Nelson Mandela put it this way: “I have never yet met an enemy whom I did not try to turn into a friend.”

Mandela, responded the following way when he was taunted for a full three minutes on the radio by an unrepentant and antagonistic Afrikaner, a public figure involved in planning violence during the transition to a new government. After the Afrikaner had finished, there was a tense pause. Mandela then replied: “Well, Eddie, I regard you as a worthy South African, and I have no doubt that if we were to sit down and exchange views I will come closer to you and you will come closer to me. Let’s talk, Eddie.”

Some more Madiba quotes from the book:   Long Walk to Freedom:

“A Nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but it’s lowest ones”

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

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