“Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.” (Luke 12:51) These are difficult words to hear. But when Jesus died, so did the possibility of remaining neutral to his message. When he was raised, so was the question, “Do you believe Jesus is the Son of God?”
Christ’s death and resurrection divides those who believe from those who do not. And it divides those who faithfully proclaim the gospel from those who ignore it, hide it, twist it, or outright oppose it. Christ desires that everyone hear the gospel, believe in him and be saved, but the hard truth is that some will not. Despite all our efforts, some people, even people we love, will refuse God’s grace.
Our Christian faith makes us different and can set us apart from families, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. And while division is painful, we should not be dismayed by the cost of faith. What we gain through this faith blesses us more richly than even the best of human relationships. Faith in Christ assures us of a loving, joyful, eternal relationship with the Triune God, to which no other can ever compare.
Prayer: Almighty God, when we suffer the pain of division, comfort us, strengthen us, and help us to remain steadfast in faith, through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Paulette McHugh,
Vicar at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Lexington, SC.