[not] Peace.

**Disclaimer: The end of my summer quarter is 30 days away.  This means my posts from now until then are very likely to be influenced by one or more of the following:

  • lack of sleep,
  • excitement for graduation,
  • anxiety bordering on panic,
  • final paper topics/woes, and
  • excess amounts of coffee.

Coincidently, today’s post is brought to you by: 4+ straight hours’ worth of outlining a paper on Matthew 10:34-39…

Specifically, these verses:

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth, I have not come to bring peace but a sword.  For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother…”

…It’s not exactly one of those verses that makes you wanna stand up and shout, “yay, Jesus!”  Actually, from where I am standing, it’s one of the most challenging points in the New Testament.  Jesus goes onto say, “he who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me”.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I LOVE my family…so the prospect of being “set against” mom and dad, or my brothers and sisters, is kind of a bummer for me.  Still, I am grateful for this command, because it’s a great reminder of how real our faith in God is supposed to be as Christians.  We are supposed to love, respect, honor, and obey our parents.  But if our love for anything—whether it be soccer, our significant other, or even our own parents— surpasses our love for and devotion to God Himself, then we can find ourselves making a sort of false God of these things.

As Christians, our faith in and love for God ought to be so real that they permeate every aspect of our life—even the most personal relationships within our families.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out so well.  And for this reason, Jesus gives us the above message.  Being a Christian is not easy.  It always requires us to love God above all else, and it always, always, always requires us to love our families and those around us.  And real love is hard.  Sometimes it means requiring us to take a stand when it would be so much more convenient and comfortable to just sit this one out, because as Christians, we can never “tolerate” sin in the name of a false sense of peace.  We are to face division for love’s sake.  We put up our fight so that in the end the true peace might win out.  We put up with the pain so that the healing may begin.

“…if Jesus came not to bring peace, why did all the prophets publish peace as good news?  Because this more than anything is peace: when the disease is removed…Only with such radical surgery is it possible for heaven to be reunited to earth”

-Saint John Chrysostom