Monday, July 15, 2019

Sunday Late, The Prince of Peace Comes Not to Bring Peace To the Earth but Divine Division To Households

Matthew 10:34-11:1

JESUS TOLD HIS DISCIPLES, "Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the 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, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person's enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person's reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward." When Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities."

Thought for the Day From Richard Kew, 7/15/19

These are puzzling words spoken by the Prince of Peace and Matthew recorded them for a Christian community that was already experiencing harassment and persecution. The point he is making is that the gospel draws a dividing line between those who do and those who do not follow him - and that walk is a Via Dolorosa. As one theologian puts it, "To follow Jesus is to embrace martyrdom." We have seen this again and again in our world. Christian churches in Sri Lanka were recently blown up on Easter Day, and Christians in many parts of the Islamic world are treated terribly. We, for the moment, are fortunate, but the call is there for us as well: to take up our cross and follow Jesus - in that way we truly find life.
Thanksgiving for the Day
Let us thank God for the example of those who have suffered for their faith.
Intercession for the Day
We pray today for Christians who are suffering because they are followers of Christ. Christianity is the most persecuted of all the world's religions.
Collect for the Day
O Lord, mercifully receive the prayers of your people
Who call upon you,
and grant that they may know and understand
what things they ought to do,
and also may have grace and power
faithfully to accomplish them;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
(Collect for the Third Sunday after Pentecost)

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