Pause

Only together, hand in hand, as God’s family and not as one another’s enemy, can we ever hope to end the vicious cycle of revenge and retribution.

Desmond Tutu in God Has a Dream: A Vision of Hope for Our Time (2003)

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Listen

“Hurry! Go back to your father. Tell him this is what your son Joseph says: ‘God has made me master of all of Egypt. Come down to me. Don’t delay. You may live in the land of Goshen, so you will be near me, your children, your grandchildren, your flocks, your herds, and everyone with you. I will support you there, so you, your household, and everyone with you won’t starve, since the famine will still last five years.’”

He kissed all of his brothers and wept, embracing them. After that, his brothers were finally able to talk to him.

Genesis 45:9-11, 15

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Think

Who is my enemy? We often think of enemies as terrorists or mass shooters — people who do really evil things. But more often enemies are those closest to us. Whenever we have conflict with others, that person often becomes our enemy. We see this in the story of Joseph. Joseph’s enemies were very close to him — it was his own brothers who sold him into slavery. Years pass and Joseph sees his brothers again. He welcomes them and embraces them. This radical act of forgiveness restores the relationship once shattered.

Have you ever had a family member or friend do something so wrong that you could not even talk to them? The actions we take — good or bad — affect those around us. Sometimes our actions or the actions of others create distance in our relationships. Other times our actions bring people back together and restore relationships. Forgiveness and love have the power to heal deep divisions.

Kyle Caudle

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Pray

God, when there is division, use me to be a presence of healing. When I am face to face with fear, let me be a presence of love. Even when I do not know how to best love my enemy, let me be a presence of peace. Amen.

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Go

As you go, remember you are loved,

loved so deeply by the God who loves this world.

Drawing from the divine depths of this love,

may you join hands with others — even your enemies —

in making God’s dream come true.

Amen.

Kyle Caudle

Kyle Caudle serves as Associate Pastor at First Baptist Church in Winchester, Virginia. In addition to teaching youth and adults about the Bible, Kyle writes weekly devotions at www.yallsaints.com.

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

Ken Medema

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