What I’m Thinking: Division

Did Jesus come to unite? No, he said. He came to divide. Division is an activity human beings know well.

Here’s a transcript:

The Revised Common Lectionary is still in the twelfth chapter of Luke (Luke 12:49-56), and that has me thinking about division, for this is one of the places in the gospels – this is the place in Luke – where Jesus asks, do you think I have come to bring peace to the Earth?

No, I have come to bring division. In a household of five, three will be divided against the other two. I’ve come to bring a fire to the Earth.

So much for “Gentle Jesus, meek and mild.”

The truth of the matter is that human beings divide all the time. We divide over issues within our households. We divide over issues within our communities. We are deeply divided in this nation over immigration, whether we are a welcoming people or whether we are a people that needs a wall.

Here on Hawai’i Island we are deeply divided over how to express different kinds of sacredness on one particular mountain.

It would be easy, I suppose, to say something like when we face division to make sure that the causes of our division are somehow “right.” But the simple truth of the matter is that we, each of us, have different notions of what is an appropriate cause over which to divide.

About all I can ask, about the only wisdom I can share, is that while we may divide over ideas, over questions, over beliefs, over commitments, we remain on this one island Earth. We cannot be fundamentally divided one from another, so at some point, we will need to live together.

So perhaps we might find a different way of honoring our differences, our commitments, our divisions: somehow to honor those aware that our roots go deep into the very same soil.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you.

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: , | Posted on August 12, 2019

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