Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 15)
Jesus the Cause of Division
"I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am constrained until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division; for henceforth in one house there will five 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 her mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law." Luke 12: 49-53
Sometimes we disagree. Look at the political landscape of our country today, and it quickly becomes clear that we are divided quite evenly along party lines. Among families, among friends, there is disagreement over any number of political problems and their possible solutions. Jesus acknowledges in the closing verses of this chapter of Luke that he will divide friends and families. Those who follow him will often be placed in opposition to others who reject Christ. Among the Jews, Christians will eventually be thrown out of the Temple and the Synagogues, and family members will be rejected and persecuted for proclaiming the arrival of the Messiah. In today's world, we are still faced with a division. Today, Christians who reject the false gods of the secular world and seek to live according to their tradition and their Faith are often criticized, and maligned. In some parts of the world, they are persecuted and martyred for their faith. We must not shy away from that division. It is acceptable, even mandatory, to stand in opposition to the evil that permeates the world and threatens to ensnare and beguile us; even when that is uncomfortable and difficult.