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 that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division!
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We humans have really sold out our definition of peace. We want not to have to fight with a customer service representative over something we deserve. We want not to have our children's schedules overlap impossibly with our ability to shuttle them from place to place on time. We want to be completely understood by the people around us without having to work at communicating. We would call that peace. We pray for peace, but it sounds like the snap of a finger as we impatiently request God to make it so. Jesus says, no peace but division. What if Jesus is stripping away our lousy definitions of peace and making us start from scratch? What if Jesus is making us come face to face with the conflicts that already exist between family members, neighbors and co-workers, and nations? What if the only way to make for peace is not denying our open wounds and bringing fire and water to the fight?
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Holy God, there is no peace until there is peace for everyone. Amen.