First off, I have just been feeling a bit of a weird thing with doing Wordle each day (link). The last week or so, with each daily word, I have felt a bit of a connection of the word to the readings of the day. Not that The NY Times is using The One Year Bible for their daily words but they’ve just been sparking some things for me.
This morning, my heart broke as I read the passages from Deuteronomy 2 and 3. These verses specifically…
“…at that time we took all his towns and completely destroyed them – men, women, and children. We left no survivors….we completely destroyed them…destroying every city – men, women, and children. But all the livestock and the plunder from their cities we carried off for ourselves…”Deuteronomy 2:34, 3:6-7
Men. Women. Children. Completely destroyed. But keeping the livestock and the plunder. Everything else? Destroyed.
As I read those words, I literally felt a tightening in my chest. After taking some deep breaths, I moved into Luke 6:27….
”But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”Luke 6:27
Luke then continues with more about what it means to love those who may not love us back.
So how to reconcile these two things? Well, for me, the best I’ve got right now is that I lament and I grieve what I first read and I hold tightly to try to live the other part of what I read. Honestly, I don’t like either thing of what I read. It would be far easier to blindly accept what I read in Deuteronomy and to reject what Jesus says in Luke. But that’s not what it means to follow the way of Jesus. Following the way of Jesus is to take these words of Jesus, even if they seem to contradict what I also read, and try to live them out and try to encourage and help others to live them as well.
But my heart ached within my chest (3/24’s Wordle word, so I am not spoiling anything with posting) this morning and it still does as I engage it again this afternoon.