Sunday, June 2, 2013

Loving or Hating Your Enemies

Pastor Joyce Swingle continues the Choices Series on the Sermon on the Mount, illuminating Matthew 5:43-48. Pastor Randy Solomon opens with prayer. Pastor Linda Warren prays over Rich and Pastor Joyce Swingle as they prepare to serve at the MasterWorks Festival as director of the theatre program and pastoral care/counseling respectively. Musical interludes by Samhill Road

For information on the MasterWorks Festival Theatre performances visit The event on July 10 will include comedy improv by the MasterWorks MasterWits, Jeannie Ortega, singing and telling her testimony about performing with Rihanna before finding the Lord, and Broadway performer Stephen Trafton sharing his one-man play on the book of Philippians.

When Joyce and I (Rich) were in Hong Kong we met James Hudson Taylor III, the great-grandson of Hudson Taylor, who made great inroads into sharing the Good News in China. Jamie, as everyone called him, told us about a ceremony the Chinese held at the 60th Anniversary of the liberation of the internment camp in Weihsien, where he and Eric Liddell were imprisoned during World War II. Jamie told us how "Uncle Eric" challenged the students to consider Matthew 5:43-48, the passage in today's sermon: If Jesus says we should love our enemies, shouldn't we love the Japanese? Most of the students were shocked that he would suggest that they love their captors, but a young man named Stephen Metcalf began to pray for the Japanese. In Olympic Hero in China, a documentary I helped create about Eric Liddell, Stephen says about his prayers, "I found that it didn't change the Japanese, but it did change me." He went on to be a missionary to Japan for 40 years. He was asked to speak at the 60th Anniversary ceremony, but his speech had to be cleared by Chinese officials. You can read that speech here.

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