February 4, 2021 Those Who Are Evil and Those Who Are Good - Laura Harris

"so that you may [show yourselves to] be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on those who are evil and on those who are good, and makes the rain fall on the righteous [those who are morally upright] and the unrighteous [the unrepentant, those who oppose Him]. 46 For if you love [only] those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers [wishing them God’s blessing and peace], what more [than others] are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles [who do not know the Lord] do that?” Matthew 5:45-47

During this time of folks taking sides (unseen predators like coronavirus, outbreaks of violence concerning race, equality, poor, rich) God's Word reminds us He does not show partiality. Sun and rain are mentioned in the scripture above as falling on both the righteous and unrighteous.

Growing up in Maryland, I saw division in my own family at election time, as my family contained both Democrats and Republicans. However, they always came together in the end behind whomever won the election. I grew up in the aftermath of the murder of Martin Luther King, in an area that was on the boarder some north and some south. I was not brought up to think of others differently, but I do remember when I was advised in high school to avoid a certain person because they were different. This young man was gentle, kind, and respectful but had an odor. His culture was different and they ate strongly spiced food that seemed to eek from his pores. I was told that to hang with him would ruin my ability to make other friends. I was not directly mean to him but avoided him for fear of being alone. I had been alone a lot in elementary school and had hopes to change this.

Growing up in Maryland, the skies were often cloud covered and grey, and to be honest rain was common place and I took for granted that it would come. A move to Arizona made me realize rain could be a blessing and a curse. We need rain! But the land can get so dry that it is unable to take in the rain that comes so infrequently and it rolls and pools until evaporation occurs and in some places the rain causes flash flooding.

Alternately- we may think sun- we need the sun, and we do. But there are times when too much sun will scorch crops, cause wild fires, etc.

Has the sun and rain changed since I was a child? Perhaps a bit with climate change, but mainly my awareness has changed.

Have people changed over the years? I would say maybe, but there has always been a divisive mentality in some people. Because I am more aware I have apologized to God for my actions or avoidance of the young man who was different from me.

I strive to be a righteous person in word and deed. There are times the little child in me wants to stomp my feet and say this is unjust. But then I remember who is just! I remember, His promises to love me even if the world does not. He allows the rain and sun to fall on everyone. My job is to live a righteous life and share HIS good news. Ultimately His SON is the ONE!

What can I do this week and this year to show the GOOD News to those in my sphere of influence?

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