not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I
have not come to bring peace, but a sword."
Human Failure and God's Providence
The Cost of Discipleship
Prayer of Discipleship
God of Love and Grace, you have called us into radical
discipleship in the name of your son Jesus. To you alone belong all
of our heart and our devotion. You freed us from the burden of sin
and by your Spirit enabled us to serve you and our neighbor. Help
us, we pray, to continue in our commitment to you.
Empower us to always seek your Kingdom first.
Teach us to pray for our brothers and sisters aright; that we be so
consumed in love for them that we may feel their needs
as much as our own. Enable us to give as freely as we have received
from you so that the name of our Lord Jesus be glorified. Amen.
Taking Up the Sword of Justice
based on Mat 10:24-39
by Rev. Frank Schaefer
Surely, Jesus words take us by surprise this morning, when he says: "Do
not think 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, a daughter against her mother . .
. and our enemies will be members of our own household."
Whoa! This does not make for a good passage for Sunday school, does it? Don't these
words of Jesus stand in direct opposition to some of his other words, like: "blessed
are the peace-makers for they shall be called children of God?"
Just a couple of weeks ago in our Sunday school lesson, we talked about the passage
where it says: "if you approach the altar and you remember that a brother has
something against you, go first and make peace with him, and then come and bring your
sacrifices?" So, what about that, what about trying to resolve our conflicts in
a civilized manner? What about being mediators?
In order to resolve this seeming paradox, we need to understand the historic background
of Matthew's community. It seems likely that this controversial saying by Jesus
was included in the Matthean community because a conversion to Christianity
meant that you faced severe persecution, and often at the hands of family
So how exactly would these belligerent
words of Jesus have given encouragement to the persecuted Matthean
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