Sunday, August 15, 2010
Jesus said, "I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided:father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law." He also said to the crowds, "When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, `It is going to rain'; and so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, `There will be scorching heat'; and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?" Luke 12:49-56
People want to think that living in a church community means living within a peaceful, quiet community that is always calm and agreeable. That would be a foolish notion, like saying that living in a family is a peaceful, calm existence. All growth happens through some sort of trauma. Birth is trauma and pain yet what a wonder is life brought forth. Most of us don't like the stretching a growing that comes with change and transformation. We feel ill-equipped and not up to the tasks ahead. We would go back to our old memory places rather than live through trauma and change, even if the change is God's doing. My mother has always reminded me, "you know that God is getting close when the devil works overtime!" Our times of chaos are moments when God is transforming us, rebuilding us in new ways for justice and love.
Jesus wants the religious leadership to understand that God stirs up the people, God moves hearts and minds and change is the sign of God's constant unchangeable love working healing and transformation in the people. None of us want to grow and change. None of us want to asks for more than we have. And yet that is how God works, asking for more than we have, giving us what we need in abundance.
Today, I want to glory in the love of God which puts us all in families and communities, and put us in the midst of conflict and challenge. Being alive and in love is challenging and it comes with some pain. But God promises to deliver more healing and forgiveness that we could ever possibly expect, and lavishes us with capacity and new life beyond our imagining.