I have found myself in a habit of reading or listening to a sermon by Martin Luther King Jr. about once a year. So yesterday being a day in which we remember this great leader I Googled to find new sermon to read. (I need to just break down and buy a book with a set of his sermons)  I came across this one. The sermon was called “Loving Your Enemies” was delivered to Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in 1957. He preached from Matthew 5:43-48.  While it is has a few cultural particulars of his day in regards to nuclear energy and communism it seemed amazingly on target for today. While the particular enemies that are depicted on the news and across the internet are different today in certain ways(in some ways they are NOT different) than during Dr. King’s day the message still stands. What Dr. King says is still a timely word of the Good News of God.

Here is just one paragraph, but the entire thing is worth listening to or reading!!!

Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. That’s why Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” Because if you hate your enemies, you have no way to redeem and to transform your enemies. But if you love your enemies, you will discover that at the very root of love is the power of redemption. You just keep loving people and keep loving them, even though they’re mistreating you. Here’s the person who is a neighbor, and this person is doing something wrong to you and all of that. Just keep being friendly to that person. Keep loving them. Don’t do anything to embarrass them. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with bitterness because they’re mad because you love them like that. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies.

Click here to read the entire sermon.

Lord Jesus, may the eternal weight of your love weigh down on us until we can’t take it anymore and we are transformed into a people who love like you.  Amen.