What comes to your mind when you think about pain?  Are you reminded of a time when you experienced pain?  Was it a physical pain, emotional pain, or something else?  As you think about these scriptures this week, think about the pain associated with each scripture.

                Matthew 26:26-28 (NIV)

               While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”

Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.  This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

How many times have you heard this passage before communion?  Jesus body broken for you.  This is my blood poured out… poured out.  Sound painful?  Do we think of the pain of the cross during communion? 

                Isaiah 52:14 (NLT)

               But many were amazed when they saw him. His face was so disfigured he seemed hardly human, and from his appearance, one would scarcely know he was a man.

The pain of the cross.  The sacrificial love Jesus displayed for us.  While were still sinners, Christ died for us. 

                Matthew 5:44-45a

               But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. 

What feelings stir in you when you read this passage?  Why does Jesus want us to treat our enemies with love? Why should we open ourselves to more pain and scorn from those who hate us? Isn’t it just smarter to avoid them, work around them, ignore them, work to bring them to justice somehow?  What does this passage reveal about us?  What does this passage reveal about God?

Come be a part of our community at Marion Mennonite whether in person or virtually, as we continue to work at being better disciples of Jesus and agents of God’s change in our communities.