Sunday, January 22, 2012
Feeding Your Enemy
Pro 25:21 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: 22 For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.
Can you honestly say that if you found your enemy in need of sustenance you would be willing to feed him or her?
I have known supposed Christian people who are wont to be pretty cruel and uncaring about those with whom they have locked horns in the past.
A preacher I once knew had this to say about a former staff member, "If he was on fire, I wouldn't walk across the street to p** on him to put him out." I wonder, if since, he has said the same about me.
Where is the humanity and where is the Christianity? When we see another person suffering and in need, how can we not have compassion on them, in spite of what they might have done to us in the past?
I can think, even now, about some folks who would consider me their enemy. Yes, sweet, loveable me! But I really don't care to count myself as an enemy to them. If they found themselves down and out, I would be more than happy to buy them a meal and help them get back on their feet. This is just the Christian thing to do.
Who knows, in showing undeserved kindness, there just might be a chance for reconciliation or for winning them to Jesus. And that, Paul says, is to be our ministry, reconciliation.
There is a reward from the Father promised if we seize the opportunity to be kind to those who are counted as opposition.
Alas, perhaps our enemy may be family!
Consider the account of the song "Taps"
"TAPS" is the song a bugler plays for a military funeral.
We have all heard the haunting melody of "Taps." It's the song that gives us that lump in our throats and usually tears in our eyes. But do you know the story behind the song? If not, I think you will be pleased to find out about its humble beginnings.
Reportedly, it all began in 1862 during the Civil War, when Union Army Captain Robert Ellicombe was with his men near Harrison's Landing, Virginia. The Confederate Army was on the other side of the narrow strip of land.
During the night, Captain Ellicombe heard the moans of a soldier who was severely wounded on the field. Not knowing if it was a Union or Confederate soldier, the Captain decided to risk his life and bring the stricken man back for medical attention.
Crawling on his stomach through the gunfire, the Captain reached the stricken soldier and began pulling him toward the encampment. When the Captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered it was actually a Confederate soldier, but the soldier was dead. The Captain lit a lantern and suddenly caught his breath and went numb with shock. In the dim light he saw the face of the soldier. It was his own son.
The boy had been studying music in the South when the war broke out. Without telling his father, the boy enlisted in the Confederate Army.
The following morning, heartbroken, the father asked permission to give his son a full military burial despite his enemy status. His request was only partially granted. The Captain had asked if he could have a group of Army band members play a funeral dirge for his son at the funeral. The request was denied since the soldier was a Confederate. But, out of respect for the father, they did say they could give him one musician.
The Captain chose a bugler. He asked the bugler to play a series of musical notes he had found on a piece of paper in the pocket of the dead youth's uniform.This wish was granted. The haunting melody, which we now know as "Taps" used at military funerals, was born.
Day is done Fading light Thanks and praises
Gone the sun Dims the sight For our days
From the lakes And a star Neath the sun
From the hills Gems the sky Neath the stars
From the sky Gleaming bright Neath the sky
All is well, From afar As we go
Safely rest. Drawing nigh This we know
God is nigh. Falls the night God is nigh.