Pentecost Blog 10
PASTOR CLAY SCHMIT
Sometimes Jesus says the most contrary things. In Sunday’s reading, he said something completely the opposite of what he says elsewhere—completely the opposite of what we expect him to say. “I have not come to bring peace, rather division.” He says that, because of him, sons will be against fathers and mothers against daughters. That is a strange thing for the Prince of Peace to tell us. But, since he did, we have to contend with his words and try to determine what they mean for us.
What he is getting at is the need for Christians to be committed to him and his saving message. Whether we like to admit it or not, making a strong stand means you are dividing yourself from others who think or believe differently. As one person put it, “decision means division.” On some level, we all know the truth of this. The reason we can’t talk about religion at Thanksgiving Dinner is that it brings division into a peaceful family gathering. If we proclaim a belief in Christ that is firm and certain, others may find us to be dogmatic and fanatical.
So, it seems accurate for Jesus to tell us that, by following him, we will be dividing households and communities. But, even if we do not convince those around us of the saving love of Jesus, we can—without argumentation, bring his love and peace to the world we inhabit. The way we love in the world will be even more profound than the words we use to persuade others about God. And, if people do divide themselves from us because of our faith in Jesus, we can still seek reconciliation with them because his love is within us. At the end of the day—and at the end of our lives—the one who divides is still the Prince of Peace and Lord of all.
Pastor Clay Schmit