Sometimes Paul seems so obtuse and so often can be confusing. And he seems to contradict himself even in a single sentence. You are supposed to hate what is evil and yet bless (and not curse) those who persecute you. Isn't persecution evil? Paul says, "live in harmony with one another" and "never avenge yourselves."
We look at the world around us, this same creation that God proclaimed "good," and we see it at war, passenger airliners being shot out of the sky, whole families being slaughtered. Who is living in harmony? Who is seeking revenge? God is crying in his heaven over the atrocities we commit on one another.
I have friends who have suffered persecution on Facebook and/or been "unfriended" because of political or religious beliefs/conflicts. The border crisis here in the US is just the latest of Satan's long line of attempts to divide us as a country, and as a religious people. Instead of trying to work together to solve a very real problem, people are at each others' throats dividing into extremist camps that will never solve anything. Jesus said, "Let the little children come..." and "As you do unto the least of these, you do unto me..." Where does all this discord stop?
Jesus, come to us, help us to find unity in the midst of division. Lord Jesus, we need you - your love and compassion. We need your grace and mercy to remain strong in the face of dissension, so that we might live peaceably as a witness to a world torn by strife. Amen.