|The “Revolutionary Love” of God changes the world. And that includes me. And you. That includes us personally, in a revolutionary process of transformation that we call “conversion.” |
Tell me if I’m alone in this: I find it so much easier to think about how other people need to change, than applying that same thinking to myself personally. Anyone else feel that way? Sure, God’s love is transformational, and I’m okay with that as long as it is transforming all y’all! It is much more daunting a task to reflect on myself and the ways I am called to my own conversion.
Conversion is an all-encompassing change, a change so comprehensive that it is often described as being “born again.” And the term isn’t only applied to the change when a person becomes a Christian. As a matter of fact, John and Charles Wesley each had conversion experiences as young adults, and they had been life-long Christians and were ordained Anglican priests at the time!
It can be hard to acknowledge the kind of personal transformation God’s love is capable of achieving. Such a transformation likely requires breaking from long-held beliefs and behaviors, and maybe even long-held and significant relationships … and that is not easy to do. Jesus himself, as he called people to follow him, did not pull any punches about what was required.
This week’s focus text, Luke 12:49-53, is one of those places that Jesus uses very vivid (we might even say “harsh”) words to describe what his mission on earth looks like. These harsh words are paralleled in Matthew 10:34-39. In these verses, Jesus makes a startling claim: He has come not to bring peace, but to bring division. What are we to make of this astonishing statement?
This weekend is the second in our “Revolutionary Love” series. As we continue to talk about how God’s love changes the world, we’ll focus our thoughts inward, on our own transformation, our own conversion. And we’ll do so by reflecting on the “Harsh Words” we hear from Jesus, words that encourage us to break from anything that keeps us from following where he leads.
I’ll see y’all in church!
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given,and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6) The Season of Advent is upon us, and the waiting has begun. We