“I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three (Luke 12:49-53)
The word of God is a refining fire. Jesus is the great divide in human history. He invites our undivided attention and devotion. Today, in the assembly, we are surrounded by “so great a cloud of witnesses.” In the word and in the Holy Communion we are invited yet again to look to Jesus, “the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.”
Music For The Day
Traditional Worship Hymn of the Day: 666 What Wondrous Love is This?
Today’s readings may cause confusion among us, but one things is certain: the word of God is like a refining fire. Today’s hymn of the day makes the relationship clear, we may be sinking down under God’s righteous frown, but Christ still lays aside his crown for our souls.
New Day Worship Song — Surely the Presence of the Lord
In our worship song we sing these words in the opening verse … There’s a holy hush around us as God’s glory feels this place. I’ve touched the hem of His garment, I can almost see His face. And my heart is overflowing with the fullness of His joy. I know without a doubt that I’ve been with the Lord. . Our God is Abba-Father, but is also a God of potency and power. Our Worship Song confronts us with the power of God, seen also in the Gospel Lesson.
For Further Reflection
In the C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series, this exchange shows up in the most popular book in the series, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, describing Lucy and Susan’s first exposure to Aslan, the Lion King, who for Lewis is the embodiment of Jesus Christ:
“Is — is he a man?” asked Lucy. “Aslan a man!” said Mr. Beaver sternly. “Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea. Don’t you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion — the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh!” said Susan, “I’d thought he was a man. Is he — quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.” “That you will, dearie, and no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver, “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.” “Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy. “Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.”
C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe