“I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.” (Luke 12:49-51)
It is hard at first to understand why God would send His Son to earth to cause trouble. Why? How can the Prince of Peace not bring peace? Jesus’ coming to the earth was the beginning of God’s final cleansing process of His creation. Fire symbolizes cleansing and Jesus would cause hearts to burn within by His presence. They would burn and boil over with anger to the point of murder. His character and concepts of God would cause evil to rise up in rage, bringing Him to the Cross. Yes, Jesus brought division. It would be a division that would separate His followers from the world’s way of thinking and doing things. He would usher in a new way of living that the world would not like.
Every generation is confronted with the presence of Jesus that causes division. His way of living does not change, therefore, ours has too. He calls us out of our self to be selfless servants. This is not the natural way of the world. This is not what we want for our lives. And yet, it does become our desire as we are truly impacted by Jesus. When we truly meet Him and get to know Him our lives are transformed and this world becomes alien to us. We become uncomfortable here because we understand this world does not represent all the good of God and we begin living for that good. Life will never be the same for us, Alleluia!
Heavenly Father, You have sent Your Son to separate us from the world unto Yourself. Continue to cement us into this relationship with You. Let us know and live as Your Church – called ones out of this world. Help us be Your instruments to bring Your Heaven to earth. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn.