“But I say to you who hear. Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” - Luke 6:27-31
This passage is one that can sometimes be confusing to youth in our bible studies. At first, I read it as telling people to simply love others and treat them well. Then, after a bit more consideration, I thought it was preaching to let other people treat you poorly, to be a pushover, to not stand up for yourself.
However, one of my favorite parts of leading this Bible study is giving youth some historical context on what this verse says to do. For example, it reads, “To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also.” At first, this seems like a direction to take the pain that the world throws at you without pushing back. However, in the historical context, people in power would typically slap people below their social status with the back of their hand. To turn and offer the other cheek would be to demand that they treat you as an equal and assert your dignity.
by Alison Sink
Revelation 21: 1-3
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
“See, the home[a] of God is among mortals.
He will dwell[b] with them;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them and be their God
The first weeks of the summer season are often a whirlwind of making sure that we all know what we’re doing and where we’re going. Seeing in our first groups is exciting, all these smiling faces that are here to learn and grow and serve. As we embark on this summer of service, we are unpacking the ideas of what it means to usher in the Kingdom of God. During my time in different agencies in the Asheville area I have had lots of little moments in which I have seen the creation of the Kingdom in this present day and age. When I think back to some of these experiences, one in particular comes to mind.