From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 7th Sunday after the Epiphany

Hi everyone,

So I’m feeling a little dumb. Not only was today’s worship service pretty rough with all the technical difficulties and my various other mistakes, but I made a pretty goofy mistake when I came home. For various reasons I needed to come home early, and my plan was to bring my laptop home with me and get this post done here as I’ve done several times in the past and not to mention throughout most of the pandemic. Lately since I’ve been in the office more though, my computer stayed away from home most of the time.

But today when I got home, I was settling in and got cleaned up, hung out with the kids for a brief time and went to my desk to get to work. I reached for my bag and found… it empty.

Whoops. I forgot my laptop at work. Weird too, because I distinctly remember packing it before I left (see “Mandela Effect” on Google or whatever search engine you prefer), but it was clear that I forgot it, unless it somehow fell out of my bag on my way home. So I sat at my desk, somewhat bewildered at how dumb I was to forget my computer, and started to mentally figure out how I would fit everything in tomorrow since there was no way that I would go all the way back to work just for my computer.

Oh, and I played a game and watched a couple minutes of Tiktok, and then I wallowed a bit more in my guilt.

It took me about an hour to realise that there are other computers in the house. Mylanta, where is my head? So anyway, I grabbed another computer, synced it up with my work computer (so I can get into this site to type this), and here we are. That was my weird and guilt-ridden afternoon. But hey, at least I got some blog fodder out of it…

Here are the readings for next week:
Genesis 45:3-11, 15
Psalm 37:1-11, 39-40
1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-50
Luke 6:27-38

I think the obvious theme for these passages is forgiveness. Either that, or “selected verses” as every passage except for the gospel jumps around to different places. But as I read Jesus’ words here talking about loving our enemies, I find that really hard.

I don’t know about you all, but I would think an enemy is an enemy for a reason. They may have wronged us. We probably don’t agree or get along with them. And we most certainly strongly dislike them. And Jesus tells us to love them instead? Yikes.

But as I reflected on this (while lamenting my absent computer), I realised that one of the reasons why it’s so hard to forgive and even love our enemies is that perhaps we haven’t fully learned to forgive and love ourselves. I find of all the people that I enjoy putting down and disliking, I probably top that list embarrassingly easily. I know I make mistakes, I know I screw up, and I know I let others down. The thing is, I don’t ever let myself forget it.

And so in my head, why should I let my “enemies” forget their wrongs toward me or to others? Why should I allow those I dislike a pass to be bad when I don’t get one myself? Why should those in my life who barely deserve even the time of day get any kind of love from me… especially when I cannot bring myself to love myself?

In a nutshell, because Jesus loves them. And Jesus loves us. Jesus loves even me.

Maybe we can follow suit and love like that too. Yes, it won’t be easy, but let’s not forget that, by God’s grace, we are made worthy to be loved, us… and them… and yes, really us.

Thanks be to God! Have a great week, everyone!

Photo by Laura Ockel on Unsplash

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