St Alban’s Episcopal Church
Friday, August 12, 2022
Peace – or Division
Luke 12:49-56What sort of God do we worship?
“Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the king I tell you”(a comment about Aslan, in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C S Lewis)
Am I a God near by, says the Lord, and not a God far off? Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them? says the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? says the Lord? I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, “I have dreamed, I have dreamed!” How long? Will the hearts of the prophets ever turn back – those who prophesy lies and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart? They plan to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, just as their ancestors forgot my name for Baal. Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let the one who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? says the Lord. Is not my word like fire, says the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces??
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 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 her 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 se the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’; and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret that appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?”
What do the words of Jesus cut through or burn away? What is most frightening about these readings for ordinary pretty-good people lie us who are busy minding our own business? IS God good? Do we need God to be “safe”?
Ryan Williams is preaching this Sunday