In today’s gospel, Matthew 10:34-42, are harsh words from Jesus to His apostles. They are a part of His preparation of them as He sends them out to preach, to heal, to announce that the kingdom of God is near. Read His words – and remember that He is speaking to His called apostles, warning them not to expect peace as they do their work, and reminding them of their allegiance not to the world around them, but to Him as their Savior.
But wait! Did not the angel, announcing the birth of the baby in Bethlehem to the shepherds, promise peace on earth? No, they did not. They promised peace to those upon whom God’s good will rests – He promises peace at heart to those who believe in Him.
And since many do not believe in Him, there will be no peace on earth. His peace is for those who do believe in salvation through the grace of God. Even in this crazy world we seek and find peace at heart because our future is assured. Listen to Pastor Gary’s benediction – the last word he speaks is “peace.” That’s the peace that passes all understanding, God’s peace given in faith.