But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore, be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.
Our parents had been friends for years before we were born, and we were practically raised together. He is a year younger than I am, and we got along pretty well. Whenever we went to their house we would spend just about all our time outside playing with the other kids in the neighborhood. One day, we began play fighting, and that turned into real fighting. All of a sudden we were not friends for a few moments, and the animosity was real. Once our mothers saw us in fisticuffs, that was it. After some time apart and a serious scolding, we were reunited in the kitchen over some cookies. We were still mad at each other, but the love of two moms refused to allow us to remain divided.
We cannot forget that God called us to him while we were his enemies. We also cannot forget that his Son made the way to bridge every division between us and him. This is a picture of fatherly love doing everything it can to restore that father’s relationship with his children. It would not have been unjust for us to remain separated from him as a result of our sin, but He loves us too much to tolerate that separation. We could not make a way to bridge the gap, but He could, and that is exactly what He did. His love seeks to unite where possible. Of course, there will come a day when we will see a great division between good and evil stand eternally, but even that transition is all about God bringing eternal and perfect unity to him and his children.
Right now, we need a large dose of this kind of unifying love in the Church. Denominational differences alone make us divided more than we ever should be. The Father calls for the Son’s bride to be united in Spirit and in purpose, but we cannot do that when we do not even believe the same things. We need to harness this kind of unifying love to break down the walls between our belief systems, to break down the walls standing between brothers and sisters who worship within the same building, and to unite the lost children with their Father. Father, thank You for the restoration You have brought between us and You, and help us love with the same purpose of unity.