Main Text: Luke 12:49-56 (Jeremiah 23:23-29; Hebrews 11:29-12:2)

We can look at the clouds coming and know it is going to rain. We can see the leaves change and know that fall is coming. We can interpret the present time based upon science, observation and experience, because we have been trained to view the signs around us through these things. What does it mean, however, to interpret life through faith? Does our faith change the way we interpret the present time? Does our faith change the way we engage the present time? It would be easy to interpret Jesus words from the Gospel reading as claiming that God wills division and brokenness in our communities and families. This, however, would be interpreting this passage through our present experience of division and not those whom he was addressing. When someone became a follower of Jesus and began to practice kingdom behavior it was going to cause division. Division would occur between those closest to them. Jesus is not praising division but recognizing this kind of division as a sign of the kingdom’s presence. Doing the right thing in the right way and for the right reasons can cause division in our time as well. Where we see division between those acting according to the command of Christ and those choosing violence and lifting up self over others, may we interpret these also as signs in our present time of Christ’s presence and call. May we stand with and support the presence of the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. Be aware, however, that it will probably cost us more than simply money.