URC Daily Devotion 19th March 2019

St Luke 12: 49 – 53 

‘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!  From now on, five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided: father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’

Reflection

This is, no doubt, a tricky passage and there are many commentaries which cover what people think Jesus was saying here. Jesus is speaking to his disciples and he is in full prophet mode. He is speaking about how he would bring people to make a choice. The Pharisees had made their choice not to follow, even some of Jesus’ own family had chosen not to follow him (Mark 3:21). Jesus was saying a time is coming when all people will need to make a choice, for him or against. We know that even the disciples, when faced with possible persecution or crucifixion, found this choice a hard one (John 6:60-66).

Making a choice to follow Jesus may result in being at odds with the rest of your family, friends or even nation. We see this most acutely when people in countries where Christianity is banned become followers of Christ. This often brings the threat of being imprisoned or worse. Sometimes it is even family members who betray their Christian family members. Closer to home, Jesus calls us to make a choice, do we follow him and bear the consequences from our family, friends and work colleagues or do we hide our faith to keep us safe? Jesus, in this passage, makes it clear that “fence-sitting” and neutrality are not an option when it comes to following him.

 

Prayer

Lord God,
We pray today for our persecuted sisters and brothers across the world,
surround them with your love, protection and give them courage to stand for you.
As we see their faithful example,
help us to make the right choices for you and your Kingdom
for Jesus sake we pray.
Amen

Today’s Writer

The Rev’d Stuart Nixon, SCM Pioneer minister, MediaCityUK Church

Bible Version

 

New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Bible: © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved

Copyright © 2019 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you have subscribed to the Daily Devotions from the United Reformed Church. You can unsubscribe by clicking on the link below.

Our mailing address is:

United Reformed Church

86 Tavistock Place

London, WC1H 9RT

United Kingdom

Add us to your address book

 

If today’s Daily Devotion is not showing on your church’s website, this will have affected all church websites using this feed in the same way. Our volunteer technical team are probably aware of the issue and will be working to fix it as soon as they are able.
Thank you.