2016 Mennonite World Conference International Day of Peace Worship Service:
Overcoming Hatred, Loving Enemies
A significant part of our time in the Philippines is spent relating to the different factions
that have come to exist due to years of ongoing conflict. We relate to government
soldiers, the New People’s
Army, as well as the Moro
Islamic Liberation Front (or the
When visiting Mennonite congregations, we are often asked, “What were you doing hanging out with those armed men? Aren’t you supposed to be a peacebuilding missionary?” “Umm… peacebuilding?” we answered, hesitantly.
We live in a militant 21st century reality. Those whose business is war would like us all to be militant against the outsider-other as much as they would like the outsider-other to be militant against us. We have also been told – by colonizers, those in power, or those seeking to be in power – who our enemies should be and who, therefore, we should learn to hate. Jesus Christ, however, tells his followers to “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you…” (Matthew 5:44).
We are called not to give in to hate. We are challenged to learn how to love even those who some may describe as “enemies.” This year’s Peace Sunday resources are focused on the challenge of overcoming hatred and loving our enemies. This, it seems, may be an initial step toward embodying peace in our world.
These Peace Sunday worship resources are provided by the Peace Commission of Mennonite World Conference. We encourage their use by all MWC-related congregations on the designated Peace Sunday (18 September 2016), or another Sunday that fits the schedule of the congregation. This year’s material was prepared by members of the MWC Peace Commission. Resources included are: sermon notes, stories, prayers, song suggestions and pictures. We trust that we can all be nurtured by the faithfulness of these brothers and sisters.
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