Tag Archives: Luke 12

Sunday Devotional: ‘I have come to set the earth on fire’

Luke 12:49-53

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I have come to set the earth on fire,
and how I wish it were already blazing! 
There is a baptism with which I must be baptized,
and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! 
Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? 
No, I tell you, but rather division. 
From now on a household of five will be divided,
three against two and two against three;
a father will be divided against his son
and a son against his father,
a mother against her daughter
and a daughter against her mother,
a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

“I have come to set the earth on fire….
Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?”

What sobering words.

If we wonder and lament about the evermore vicious Culture War we find ourselves in, recall those words, for Christ did warn us in Luke 21:12, 16-19:

“[T]hey will seize and persecute you,
they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons,
and they will have you led before kings and governors
because of my name…. 
You will even be betrayed by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends,
and they will put some of you to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
Stand firm, and you will win life.

For, as His followers, we are not of this world. Thus, the powers and all who are of this world will always hate and persecute us. And by their hate, we will know who they are (John 8:44).

In the undeclared but de facto civil war that we are in, when you and I get all puffed up with righteous moral indignation, be sure that we’re not being self-righteous — “Having or characterized by a certainty, especially an unfounded one, that one is totally correct or morally superior.”

So what’s the antidote to self-righteousness?

Three things:

  1. Be sure that when we are on that moral high horse, our cause and our justice are God’s cause and justice.
  2. Humility: Don’t imagine that being righteous makes us morally superior or better than others.
  3. Love: The right kind of love. Not love of self — getting all puffy and grandiose that we are morally better than others — but love of God.

It’s always narcissism. Our stumbling block is always narcissism.

Remember that the Greatest Commandment of all is to love God with our whole heart, our whole soul, our whole mind, and with all our strength.

He is our lodestar. Always.

Fix our eyes not on ourselves, but on Him — while we battle for what is good, and right, and true, and just.

And then perhaps someday, when it’s time for us to go, we too can say what St. Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:7:

I have fought a good fight;
I have finished my course;
I have kept the faith.

And may the love and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: Life does not consist of possessions

Luke 12:13-21

Someone in the crowd said to Jesus,
“Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” 
He replied to him,
“Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?” 
Then he said to the crowd,
“Take care to guard against all greed,
for though one may be rich,
one’s life does not consist of possessions.”

Then he told them a parable. 
“There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. 
He asked himself, ‘What shall I do,
for I do not have space to store my harvest?’
And he said, ‘This is what I shall do:
I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. 
There I shall store all my grain and other goods
and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you,
you have so many good things stored up for many years,
rest, eat, drink, be merry!”’
But God said to him,
‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you;
and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’
Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves
but are not rich in what matters to God.”

Our consumer culture sells us the lie that happiness comes from material possessions. While buying something new might give us a lift, the pleasure it gives is as ephemeral as dew drops in the morning sun. We have all experienced how quickly the pleasure wears off and, like drug addicts, we then look for yet another “fix”.

But in today’s reading from Luke 12, our Lord counsels us to “guard against all greed” for our “life does not consist of possessions.” As we grow older, we should simplify our lives instead of accumulating more and more possessions.

The recently-depart Alan Cohen, 83, spent his life acquiring and accumulating large amounts of stuff, charitably called “quirky” by the mother-and-daughter pair who had to organize his home for a recent estate sale. Below are pics of some of Cohen’s stuff.

As we age, we should simplify our lives by discarding the clutter and nonessentials.

Instead of jamming our homes with more and more stuff, try reducing the amount of our material possessions instead. Clear out your bulging closets and cluttered shelves. Sell them in a garage sale or, better yet, donate them to charity and get a tax write-off.

Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.

Strive to live a clean and uncluttered existence. Pare our lives, our possessions, and our selves to what is truly meaningful. Instead of storing up stuff, be “rich in what matters to God.”

You’ll breathe easier and feel better.

And you won’t leave a house groaning with stuff and dust for others to clear out.

Colossians 3:5, 2-4

Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly:
immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire,
and the greed that is idolatry

Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. 
For you have died,
and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 
When Christ your life appears,
then you too will appear with him in glory.

May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you!

~Eowyn

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