A Season of Peace: Thursday, September 13, 2018


Partners in peace: who is the real enemy?


By Rev. Abby King-Kaiser

Luke 6:27–38

 “But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies.”


Reflection: I find this passage a perennial challenge. As an American of a certain age—my generation’s first presidential election was decided by the Supreme Court; I was eighteen when the Twin Towers fell; and I was in grad school when the bubble burst and the recession started—I have been told who my enemies are from an early age. As we grew, my generation found just as many enemies in places we thought we could trust—our electoral system, our economy, our banks, even the social media companies founded by those we went to college with.

My senior year of high school in the Cincinnati area was marked by unrest and curfews following the death of Timothy Thomas, unarmed in an alley, shot by police. His death came on the heels of many others, and I learned about my white privilege as I came to understand that my inherent trust of the police was a result of the racial category I was born into.

Who is the enemy then? In many ways, it is us. In this passage, I hear Christ calling us to look at the people whom we are told are the enemy. So very often, they are not, and the ones doing real damage look like friends and allies. If this is true, how might we go out of our way to build relationships across boundaries of race or religion or worldview?

Action: Get out your cell phone. Look at the last 10 people you texted and called. Consider their identities. Do you share race, culture, gender, religion, generation with the people on your list? Who is missing? Reflect on how you might seek out communities different from your own to expand your social circles. Could you worship somewhere different this week? Attend an interfaith event? Try a festival you wouldn’t have gone to otherwise?

Prayer: Compassionate God, draw us into your human family and remind us that we all belong to each other. Give us eyes to see those enemies that you call us to love. Amen.


Rev. Abby King-Kaiser is a teaching elder, a mother of two, and a campus minister at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. She sees the world in pictures, which is most often translated via Instagram even though painting is more fun.


This year’s A Season of Peace resources are designed to help Presbyterians explore different forms and lenses for peacemaking. From the personal level to global issues like human trafficking and sustainable development, these reflections and prayers will help grow the faith and witness of the whole church. Through the days of this year’s A Season of Peace, we are invited to reflect on:

  1. Peace that passes understanding: personal testimonies of faith and peace within self, within families, within communities
  2. Partners in peace: interfaith work for peace and justice, building peace between us while witnessing to peace in our wider world
  3. Go and see: reflections from travel study seminar participants
  4. The church and its witness: reflections on addressing trafficking in its varied forms
  5. Peacemaking and practice: stories and reflections on building bridges and crossing divide

Each author represents a variety of vocations and experiences in peacemaking efforts. Individuals and households are invited to make use of these daily reflections beginning on Sunday, September 2, and concluding on World Communion Sunday, October 7.

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