The Holy Gospel: August 18, 2013 (Year C)

Read: Luke 12:49-56

Meditation: “Breaking News”

Even when I am watching television in a semi-conscious state, I perk up when a program is interrupted so that “breaking news” can be reported. 

I have this reaction when reading today’s passage.  Jesus, the young and popular rabbi, has been laying out his ministry agenda when suddenly, he creates his own version of “breaking news.”

He wants his disciples, then and now, to “get it”–and that means not assuming that his message is just one more warmed-over version of religion.  He is not just moving the pieces around; he is creating a new game–what Paul later called “a new creation.”

To follow him and to adopt his way is going to upset all sorts of apple carts.  There is no greater mistake than to assume that Christianity is a “nice” add-on to our life house.  Jesus himself told us it is a “fire” that will burn up every pretense in its path. 

For those of us who get lulled into a spiritual sleep that never really changes us or challenges us, this is “breaking news.”  We are not Christians because we hold membership in a church; we are Christians because we follow Jesus and align our lives with him.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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