In the name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
The peace of God it is no peace, but strife closed in the sod. Yet let us pray for but one thing, the marvelous peace of God.
Sometimes the hymn writers just get it, and that is certainly true for William Alexander Percy, the author of today’s sequence hymn. Today we get a view of Jesus that is unsettling. This isn’t Jesus as the shepherd of our souls, or Jesus the friend of sinners, this is a far more aggressive and angry Jesus than we’re accustomed to. This is a challenging Jesus, perhaps a Jesus that we wish would just keep his mouth shut. This Jesus makes us uncomfortable with words such as “Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division!... father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother.”