We imagine, viewed through the news of this moment in World History, that all conflict is destructive and regrettable. We imagine that heaven is a place where a great angelic choir sings together in a great harmonious sound, where there is no dissonance, no conflict, but only pure music.
But what if sometimes conflict is necessary for transformation. What if conflict, pain and strife aren’t destruction, but birth? What if fire comes not to burn and destroy, but to cleanse and purify?
Jesus in the Gospel today speaks of fire and conflict, and I think given our present circumstances, particularly in the USA, we hear it as an ominous warning. But it could also be heard as a promise that a transforming moment is about to happen. Certainly, the conflict of our moment does seem frightening and ominous, but if God is in the midst of this storm too, then maybe there is something historic happening.
In the sermon on this week’s’s Gospel, I speak about conflict and transformation. I speak about what living into sustained conflict might be like, and how new communities have been and are being created that understand the conflict as being a creative force rather than simply a destructive one.
The direct link to the video is found here