How do you feel about Jesus' mission? How do you think and feel about Jesus' message? When we get caught up in Jesus' messages of peace, love, joy, and forgiveness don't we allow ourselves sometimes to feel like Jesus is making us feel like we are in the happiest place on earth? Like we're in some sort of magic kingdom? Like everyone is happy all the time and our troubles simply melt away??? With Jesus - yes - sure - absolutely our troubles should melt away because Jesus is our way, our truth and our life!
So the Gospel this weekend seems like quite the departure from all that doesn't it??? Talking about the world being on fire, not peace but division and people in opposition to one another!!! What gives? What can we make of this? Don't we feel just a little uneasy about it? In this "departure" Jesus is asking us to be mindful of two things. First Jesus is reminding us that indeed we have to be people who are fire for the kingdom; people who live our lives with great conviction about our faith. On fire about love. On fire about forgiveness. On fire about our morals. On fire for the Gospel. On fire about our faith. On fire for CHRIST! And so we are called to have great conviction about our faith and live it passionately!!!
Second, there is a cost that comes with being a disciple of Christ. There will be times that we will not always agree or see eye to eye with others, that we will be in opposition with others and thus we pray a price for following Christ. Not everyone in this earth will choose Christ, hence division will be part of the disciple's earthly experience.
I'd like to think this is like the classic division between Coke and Pepsi. Some people may not care but the truth is that some people like Coke and some like Pepsi and they're serious and have convictions about what they like and they're not going to be a convert to the other side! In the same way and even more so, we are to have that strength of convicition of faith. We are called to live out our faith with great conviciton knowing that not everyone will agree, not everyone will go along, but we shouldn't be any less of who Christ calls us to be and how he calls us to follow Him. Not everyone will embrace the baptism with which Jesus is baptized!
At the same time we also need to be aware of the oppositions we let leak into our own lives. Sometimes we choose to see the world and our faith through our own parameters, our own lenses - hence the 80's throwback glasses. Jesus calls us to follow him 100% - completely - and so we have ask ourselves: Am I seeing clearly through the eyes of faith or am I choosing to see in different ways? The cost of disicipleship and the cost of being on fire for Christ means that within ourselves we also have to be honest about how we are choosing to see and use our faith and make sure we are following Christ as he has called us to follow Him and not following Him on our own terms.
This week may we take time in prayer and ask ourselves...
Am I on fire for Christ and the Kingdom of Heaven?
Am I truly doing my best to see with the eyes of faith and not my own?
Am I strong in my convictions about my faith and seek to know more?
Am I taking time to invite the Holy Spirit into my life to strengthen my resolve to follow Christ even if I may not know what exactly it is that I need?
Am I aware that I'm saying yes to Christ and I'm willing to endure the cost of discipleship because I am on a mission, a journey to the true magic kingdom - God's heavenly Kingdom???