April 8, 2009

Holy Wednesday: Not Peace, But A Sword

"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn 'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law - a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.'

Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." --Jesus Christ, in Matthew 10:34-39 (New International Version)

Here Jesus is quoting the Old Testament book of Micah (chapter 7, verses 6,7), in which is described the possible conflict of family and faith. From experience I have learned the choice of fairness and right believing-thinking-acting does not always lead to harmony, unity, and happy feelings. Sometimes it leads to anger, division, and hostility. Jesus is challenging me to endure these things for His sake. He is challenging me to lose the lesser to gain the greater. What parts of my life (preferences, people, etc.) am I holding onto at the cost of experiencing what God wants and has prepared for me?

Jesus shoots down the idea that I can "have it all." I can pray for restored, healed relationships, but I can not insist upon them at any cost. Some may have to be laid aside. What sacrifice am I willing to make?

The passage from Micah concludes with these words:

"But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord. I wait for God my Savior, my God will hear me."

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