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"Responding to Division"

Division” is a word with a negative connotation. The first thing I think of is 3rd or 4th grade math. I remember sitting at our family’s dining table with tears and frustration, as I struggled to make sense of the task (or even purpose) of long division.  While most people don’t enjoy learning to divide numbers (thankfully God created calculators), this isn’t event the most painful kind of division. Here in our country, we know that it’s an “election year” as political rhetoric and partisan politics continue to escalate. We hear the attacks from both sides from the pundits on TV and in the social media posts of our friends, family, and most distant acquaintances, but…

In our scripture passage and sermon message for this coming Sunday, we will turn our attention toward a different kind of division. In Mark 3, religious leaders are accusing Jesus of being in league with the “ruler of demons.” Jesus offers a response, saying, “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” (Mark 3:24-25) It’s a wild passage where Jesus must defend himself against outrageous and offensive allegations. Perhaps it is the reference to the Son of God as being connected to Beelzebub, that is referred to as blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

Jesus faces division and disrespect from the religious leaders. Jesus faced division within his own family. We face divisions in every arena of our community and even in our own lives. Do we allow these divisions to separate us from those we love? Do they impact our relationship and connection with God, or do we find divisions here as well?

Our church is another form of family. Are we remaining connected, or are there divisions that are being allowed to fester? May God give us clarity of call and an abiding sense of peace that allows us to unmask, name, and eliminate division in every area of life and our community.

What divisions do you find the most troubling? Let me know. 

Very truly,

Pastor Adam

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