“Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth?  No, I tell you, but rather division.”

— Luke 12:51

Say what, Jesus?

Needless to say, this is not a verse championed by Mennonites.  Do you think Jesus came to bring peace to the earth?  “Yes!” is my enthusiastic and hopeful response.  And I can cite a whole bunch of scripture to back it up.

But these words from Jesus seem to tell a different, or at least more nuanced, story.

Truth be told, this Lent anti-racism theme of “Trouble the water” is stirring up some things in me that I’m not finding particularly peaceful.  In confronting the persistence of racism through history and, Gasp, in myself, I’ve found myself angrier than usual, less patient, and more socially confrontational.  In short, the feelings I’ve typically associated with being spiritually grounded – calmness, patience, and niceness – are registering pretty low.  I find this disorienting.

So I guess the theme is working.  I’m troubled.  Thanks a lot church.