Pierced With a Sword

January 14th, 2008 • Category: My Favorite Scripture
by David Zier

Today’s scripture: Matthew 10:34-39 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (David Zier):

I performed lectio divina on the book of Matthew recently for some seminary work in a class at Earlham School of Religion. Lectio divina allows one to take in the words of scripture and imagine yourself in the midst of them. The words are read slowly, multiple times with silence in between, and you imagine you are there “within” the text. As the words are spoken or read, it allows you to feel and be present in the scene. The Spirit can take our minds to a place where the meaning is new and different, yet delivers a strong message about what it means to follow Christ.

These are very difficult words in this passage. How could these words be heard and understood when meditated on by the leading of God? I am surprised that Jesus says he is not here to bring peace, as most would think Jesus wants peace and he is a peaceful man — the Prince of Peace!

I think that peace implies contentment. I don’t think Jesus wants me to be content, or at peace about what is happening to God’s people in the world. Following Jesus is not about being at peace, but about shaking me to my core.

That sharp sword piercing my soul stirs me up and does not allow me to settle for what is less than God’s will. It’s how Jesus calls me into action.

When there is no justice or peace, he wants to shake me up — he wants me to speak up and take action where people are oppressed, unloved, poor, and do not have a voice. The sword is symbolic of Jesus sharp message, a message that pierces the soul. Even though these words may seem harsh, these words should stir the soul — and renew our call to Discipleship.

Thought for the day: How has Jesus message pierced your soul?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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