Our texts this week came from Jeremiah 23. Where there is a contrast between the false prophet that speaks into the hopes and the dreams of the people. So they hear exactly what they want to hear. And the true prophet who speaks the light of God’s truth into our dark world, which may not be quite ready or willing to hear.
Psalm 82, God is before a council of demi-gods or humans with significant power and influence. [And] God asks them, ‘how long will you reward the wicked? how long will you continue to let injustice rule? how long will you continue to accept the oppression of the oppressed?’
In Hebrews 11 and 12, its a list of possible consequences for discipleship in the first century and as a colleague said ‘it does put a bad day into perspective’.
Luke 12, we have these words from Jesus that we typically interpret as “Do you think to bring peace? NO! but rather I came to bring DIVISION!”
What if we re-listened to that? What if we heard it more like this ‘do you think I came to bring peace? no, I tell you, but rather division.”
What if the division is not an intention of his coming but rather the bitter consequence of his mission as a prophet to speak the light and the truth of God into our world?
It reminds me of the infamous Jack Nicholson line in A Few Good Men: “You want the truth? YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH”.
Because, the reality is we don’t like the truth being spoken into our world. I have many strained and ended relationships with friends and family because I spoke truth into a situation when they were either not ready, not wanting, or unwilling to hear the truth.
My favorite Martin Luther quote is ‘Peace when possible. Truth at all costs’.
It takes a lot of courage, it takes a lot of guts and bravery to speak truth into our world, to speak that light of God, and of Christ, and of Love into our world that seems to be ruled by wickedness, injustice, oppression, hatred, evil.
My hope is that we don’t just hear the words or repeat the words, but rather we embody it. Peace WHEN possible, but TRUTH at ALL COSTS. Amen.
Scriptures: Jeremiah 23, Palm 82, Hebrews 11-12, and Luke 12.
Originally Preached on 15 August 2016