Today’s Passage: Luke 12:49-56
Opening Prayer: Father God, if we look close at the ministry of Jesus, we see that he was a change agent. He didn’t come to make peace, at least not in the short term. He knew things needed to change and that things would get worse before they would get better. Help us to see the changes that need to place in our world to bring about lasting peace and true justice for all people. May we be, as Jesus was and is, a change agent. In Jesus’ name, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and all for Your glory, I pray. Amen.
Opening Song: Casting Crowns – Courageous [Official Music Video – HD]
Message [used with permission from A Sermon for Every Sunday]: Sometimes it has to Get Worse Before it Gets Better – The Tenth Sunday after Pentecost [8/18/19] by Brian McLaren, speaker, activist, bestselling author, and former pastor.
Brian McLaren begins this week’s sermon by explaining how he got a call asking him to come to Charlottesville to join the group of clergy praying for those protesting in August, 2017. He didn’t tell anyone he went. Later, his pastor at his home church mentioned it in his sermon. McLaren tells how an older gentleman got in his face after the service and lectured him, saying he did not respect what he did and thought he was wrong to do it. McLaren said this experience reminds him of today’s passage from Luke 12:49-56. He says, “Jesus’ work as peacemaker often makes things worse before they get better…When Jesus came, he was not a pacifier. He was not a law and order dominator…He was an agitator. He was a fire starter. He knew that things had to heat up before people would wake up.” What needs to be heated up today? What needs to get worse before it gets better? What fires do we need to start in order to bring about justice for all?
Closing Song: Passion – Whom Shall I Fear [God of Angel Armies] [feat. Chris Tomlin]
Closing Prayer: Father God, we know that most people do not really like to change. We also know that when people are challenged with the truth about the need to change they will often push back and seek to hurt others. May we not be afraid to be afraid to be one of Your change agents. May you place a hedge of protection around each one of us who steps out to speak and act according to Your truth. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Epilogue: Peace Be Still (feat. Lauren Daigle) // The Belonging Co // All The Earth