by Anna Hartge

“Faith is mathematical power. It subtracts weakness, adds power, divides difficulties, and multiplies possibilities.”

I do not know who first wrote or uttered these words, but this quote came to mind as I read Luke 12:49-56. The passage is one of those that may make readers question why Jesus sounds so harsh. As I studied the text, I meditated on the word “divided”. What must we be divided from to follow Christ? As ambassadors of reconciliation, what guidance can we find in this text?

When we read Luke 12 in its entirety, we realize Jesus is primarily preaching about hypocrisy. Although a multitude of people had gathered to listen to his words, the scripture says in Luke 12:1, “…He began to say to His disciples…” Read it for yourself. What do you hear Christ telling you? How should the conduct of those who say they are “followers of Christ” be affected in our everyday situations?

I have accepted the call to serve Jesus in the ministry of reconciliation. In my moments of meditation, I heard a commandment to divide or separate myself from the things in my life that do not honor the love of Christ. As I have begun to focus my spiritual energy on bringing people together across the division that may based on racial prejudice, I realize I am disturbing the peace among many of my colleagues and friends. But if the work He has assigned to my hands shakes people from their comfort zones on matters of race, then I am on task.

Dear God,
Disturb each of us. Challenge us to divide ourselves from patterns of behavior that prejudge and disrespect others.

Reveal to us ways to become better representatives for you as we stand on the bridges of life extending hands hope and love. Bring alive in us the faith that “subtracts weakness, adds power, divides difficulties, and multiplies possibilities.”


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