Sunday's Gospel reading was from Matthew 5:38-48. Jesus is teaching his disciples how to relate to each other and to the world at large. He tells them (and us) not to retaliate, not to return evil for evil, to turn the other cheek, to go the extra mile, to give generously, and to love our enemies. He ends this passage merely telling His disciples they need to be perfect as His Heavenly Father is perfect! That seems impossible.
However, what Jesus is challenging us to be is to be tough people. Able to take a blow and not strike back. To give generously and not just from our excess. To love those we find unlovable. To do this requires toughness, endurance, perseverance, and generosity. It requires striving for perfection, not based on our standards or the world's standards, but on God's standards. We are called to be tough people, leavened with generosity, striving for perfection in righteousness. Essentially we are called to be Washingtons - persevering and enduring through insult, ridicule, and persecution. To stay the course and not be discouraged. And through it all to be generous and loving. On our own strength, impossible. But with the Holy Spirit and a community of faith, we can encourage, equip, and help each other achieve the righteousness God desires in His people. If we in the church can live this way, it just might be a revolution and change the world!