Jesus said to his disciples:
"You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies,
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers and sisters only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect."
The phrase "Do not the tax collectors do the same?" caught my attention today. Well, truthfully, I'm tired and my brain was caught by several things, least of which is the idea of rain falling on the "just and unjust." But anyway, back to the tax collectors. It seems weird to have a focus on tax collectors...and pagans. If I were to think of the top two offensive people today, it wouldn't be tax collectors and pagans, it might be, for me, fundamentalists and wall street bankers. Both drive me bananas. But should they?
Tax collectors, back in the day, were members of the family. They were Jews who worked with the Roman government. Often they were corrupt. They were despised by the religious Jew. Today, honestly, that person for me is the fundamentalist-literalist-inerrant type person. Not that I despise them, I don't, but they definitely frustrate me to no end. And they are members of my own family. I need to make room for these people in my heart too. Urgh.
So the question is, what if I don't want to make room for them? I think I will just stand on the corner and have a hissy fit and declare, "I don't wanna!" Why do I need to share my toys with those I believe have twisted the Grace of God? Because the rain falls equally on both of us. We are all connected. The rain of grace connects us. My heart is their heart and their heart is my heart. No matter how uncomfortable that makes us both feel. This thought leads to one of my most favoritest videos of all time...
We are all connected. We are all star stuff.