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“Do you think that I have come to establish peace? No, I tell you, but rather division.” –Luke 12:51
Many of us are fans of Jesus the peacenik. A generation ago, every Catholic I know used to have a plastic plaque on the wall that said: “Peace to all who enter here.” Indeed, we’d prefer to have our guests experience peace in our homes. We like to envision our personal space as a sanctuary of tranquility.
Yet when Jesus was brought to the Temple as a baby, the holy man Simeon warned he would be a sign of contradiction. Jesus wasn’t forecast to be a bridge-builder but a troublemaker who would draw lines in the sand that would be painful for some to cross. Those who embraced the way of Jesus would find those lines drawn across their own homes. That peacenik Jesus wasn’t evident in his own generation. Everywhere he went, some folks loved him and others wanted him dead.
If you’ve ever lost a friend because of your faith, if you’ve been dismissed or put down or deserted in Jesus’ name, that’s all part of the territory. Peace is coming, but maybe not today.
How can you answer the call to be a peacemaker but accept that personal serenity may not be part of the package?
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