Loving Enemies Series Week 5
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus flips the script on how people perceive the world to be ordered. Rather than a social arrangement that favors the wealthy and powerful by the labors of the poor and oppressed, Jesus advocates for the inherent worth and dignity of each human being.
Contrary to the broadly accepted worldview of “haves”—who are blessed with privilege and influence—and “have-nots”—who are destined to have others enjoy the fruits of their labors—Jesus seems to imagine a God that doesn’t play favorites.
And yet, human history is one long story of classism, oppression, and exploitation.
Which begs the question…was Jesus just wrong? Or are we still missing the point?
Like all places and peoples who have borne the brunt of systemic exploitation, the coalfields of central Appalachia remain a glaring example of how wealthy and powerful interests simply use other human beings as little more than inanimate tools, and see the people and the land as expendable resources whose only purpose is to line their already thick pockets.
So how are people from exploited communities supposed to love their exploiters? What does loving your enemy look like when your enemy refuses to recognize your basic humanity?
This week at New Wineskins we’ll be joined by Rev. Brad Davis, pastor of the 6-point Welch Charge of the United Methodist Church in McDowell County, WV—one of the poorest counties in the United States—for a conversation about how exploited people can not only learn to love their enemies, but turn that love into a positive force that transforms lives and communities.
Please join us this Sunday, Nov. 5, in the New Wineskins Virtual Theology Pub powered by Zoom for Week 5 of our Loving Enemies series as Brad leads us in a conversation about the redemptive work of love for communities where hope and dignity have been robbed by greed and the lust for power.
6:00pm ET: Happy Half-Hour (informal meet & greet time)
6:30pm ET: Presentation & conversation begin
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Feature image by Caitlin Ware