So good to chat with you again at the close of this hectic work week. I want to say thank you to everyone who made our Homecoming service so special last weekend. It was good to have Rev. Doug Ivey filling the pulpit once again. And by the way, I want to tell you the food was the best it has ever been. The folks in the kitchen really did an excellent job. Thank you.
My sermon this week is challenging becaue the text is so hard for us to hear. Jesus says, "I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled. Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division." (Luke 12:49-56)
That does not sound like the Prince of Peace to me? That does not remind me of Jesus meek and mild that I learned about in Sunday School growing up. Just who was this Jesus? What did we do with the other guy?
Understand church...this is the same Jesus...He loves us enough to leave us as we are. And as He prepares for the cross, He wants His disciples (us too) to understand that following Him authentically will lead to conflict with others. "Decision invites division" as one commentator writes.
I don't want to give too much away for Sunday, but I do want you to hear this: You have been tasked with making a decision for Jesus Christ. And not only do you have to decide who He was, you have to decide just how far you are willing to follow Him. Are you willing to go to Jerusalem? Are you willing to go to the cross? Are you willing to follow Him to the point that your love for Him and your neighbor causes division in your life?
It's time for us to take a stand for God in our church and in our community...I hope you are ready to do just that.
Have a great weekend and I will see you Sunday.