Saturday 22 August 2015

Bible Book:

“Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth?” (v. 51)

Luke 12:49-56 Saturday 22 August 2015

Psalm: Psalm 73:15-28


What an extraordinarily difficult text on which to end the week!For Christians, Jesus is the prince of peace, the one who offers usa radical alternative to the violent competitiveness of the world.How does that sit with these verses?

Well, perhaps we need to see Jesus as the prophet whose time hascome. When Jesus talks about bringing fire on the earth, he isechoing the ancient story of Elijah (1Kings 18:36-40) who called down God's fire on the sacrificialaltar on Mount Carmel. But Luke, of course, is also the author ofActs, and he wants us to think about the fire that is the sign ofthe Spirit's power at Pentecost (Acts2).

Yes, Jesus does bring peace, but that is a peace that comes fromaccepting him and his message. A key word is 'Kairos', one of theGreek terms for time. This is different from 'chronos', which tendsto mean a specific time (a period of hours or days). Here 'kairos'is translated 'season'. Now, says Jesus, is God's urgent time.Decisions need to be made now and actions taken.

In recent years, 'kairos' documents have been produced toemphasise the urgent need for Christian response to crises. Thesehave included, in the years before Nelson Mandela's release, the call by South African theologians for aconfrontation with apartheid and, more recently, calls forjustice for Palestinians.

To Ponder

  • What do Christians need to see as the 'kairos' moment intoday's world? What prophetic words and actions might you be askedto give in response?
  • What potential conflict with friends and family might come froma radical Christian commitment? 

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