Father, Make Us Look Like You - January 2022

by Pastor Pete Panitzke on January 07, 2022

My prayer for today is based on Jesus' words in the Sermon on the Mount in which our New Testament reading is found (Matthew 5:43-6:15).  "Father, make us look like you." 

"Enemies" abound today. We struggle to understand people who think differently than we do. The easy option is to vilify them. Thus my prayer: Father, make us look like you.

"Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:44-45).

Our Old Testament reading (Genesis 19-21) reveals our God's ability to punish the wicked.

"If [God] condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment" (2 Peter 2:6-9). 

Forgiving our enemies does not mean saying, “What you did really didn’t hurt me.” Nor does it mean, “What you did was ok.” Forgiving our enemies is acknowledging that our call as children of our heavenly Father is to trust our Father will do what is right – showing mercy to the repentant and bringing judgment on the rebellious – in his time and in his way. Vengeance isn’t part of our call. 

The Old Testament reading also shows that even Abraham, the father of our faith, struggled to do what is right in this sinful world. He lies to protect himself. He fails in his role as father. Seeing his sin helps us see our own sin and appreciate God's amazing grace to him and to us.

It is this amazing grace that unites us as children of our heavenly Father. It is amazing grace that enables us to join together in prayer::

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from the evil one" Matthew 6:9-13). 


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