Thank God for meteorologists! With the click of a mouse or the tap of a smartphone, we have the weather forecast for the day. We trust that someone reliable has read the signs well, and we dress for the day and plan our activities accordingly.
With Jesus, all the signs of the approaching reign of God have been given: "the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them" (Luke 7:22). How hypocritical for someone to act on faith in a weather forecast or an economic forecast or the gestures of love in a relationship budding toward bloom, and yet remain noncommittal about the signs of the visitation of God that is already taking place among us!
Disciples stand apart from the crowd in this: they have taken the Jesus-indicators seriously. They are clothing themselves for the Day ahead.
Lord, thank you for calling me out of the crowd. Clothe me with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience so I am ready for the Day of mercy and peace you promise to bring. Amen.
Luke 12:49-56 (NRSV)
49 "I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!
50 I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed!
51 Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division!
52 From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three;
53 they will be divided: father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law."
54 He also said to the crowds, "When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, "It is going to rain;" and so it happens.
55 And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, "There will be scorching heat;" and it happens.
56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?