Listening in with Michael Card & Brennan Manning
- Friday, August 13, 2004
Michael: I’ve been going through the literature and trying to understand what this defining characteristic of God is in the Old Testament. The more I boil it down, it’s enemy love. Jesus defines loving, ultimately, in terms of the ability to love your enemy. Most people call it covenantal love. God loved us when we were still enemies. When you talk about going to find people to love — and this is where God is taking me right now eventually, that means we’ve got to love our enemies, identify who they are, admit we have enemies in the first place because most of us (myself included) are in denial that we have enemies. The fulfillment of the commandment to love, if you push it to extreme in Jesus’ teaching, is this idea of loving our enemies. But He did that for us. We’re the ones who nailed him to the cross.
Brennan: I’m just wondering if those who saw "The Passion of The Christ" really identified themselves as the enemy — that it was our sins who put Christ on the cross. In my own room I have a very jagged crucifix made by a man in Kingston, Jamaica. When I look at that crucifix [I know that] I am the forgiven enemy of God, that Jesus knows my whole life story, every skeleton in my closet, every moment of sin, shame, dishonesty. Right now, He knows my shallow faith, my feeble prayer life, my inconsistent discipleship. He loves me and accepts me just as I am. When I’m in touch with my own heart as a forgiven enemy of God, that has to become the source, the basis for reaching out and accepting the brokenness, the weaknesses of others.
© 2004 CCM Magazine. All rights reserved. Used with permission. Click here to subscribe.
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