Advent Daily Prayer Challenge – Day 12
Read Luke 12. Commentary – There is a deepness in this chapter. Jesus gives a warning about hypocrisy, urges his hearers in fearless confession, tells a parable about wealth, talks about worry and slaves, and says that he is the cause of division. This is a chapter full of Jesus’ sayings that are unexpected by many. This chapter paints a different picture of Jesus than we prefer. Too often we prefer a tame and timid Jesus, not the Jesus who judges, criticizes, exhorts, and causes division. But these are important aspects of Jesus. He is the cause of division for many. Even within the body of those that claim to follow him, there is division because of him.
Let us pray. God of truth, you speak words of truth to us. But do we really want to listen? Some of these words are hard to hear. Too often, many of us have the privilege of pushing aside uncomfortable words of Jesus. We somehow have this image that following you is all positive. How did that happen? Especially when you are clear over an over again that following you leads to death – death to self, to selfishness, to our self-imposed identities, etc. It is only through death that we experience resurrection and who we are truly called to be.
Today I pray for Christians pastors who proclaim Jesus with their lips, but in action oppose Jesus through what and who they support, that use their position to mislead what Jesus is about, that are more interested in earthly influence, political power, and money. These folks have a loud voice and people listen. They lead many of the sheep to destruction. Open them to be, as you said in Luke 12:15, “on your guard against all kinds of greed;” Cause them to repent and change their ways. As for me, you know what I need. Give me the courage to speak up when abusive theology is proclaimed. Give me the courage to love those that willingly mislead for their own benefit. That doesn’t mean to enable or ignore what is happening – but rather to act in the most loving way I can. Allow me to still see the Imago Dei in these people. Amen.