If you did not think of it yet, it is probably too late. This is a good week to schedule a vacation. Our Lord says he has come to set members of a family one against the other. When it feels like families are under assault, do we really need Jesus to start piling on?
But this is an excellent Sunday to preach. For our Lord will strip away from us our idolatry, even the idolatry of the good things we believe we should love. I once heard a Reformation preacher tell us he wanted to take away our vices and our virtues. Everyone wants to be rid of vices, but virtues? His point was that our virtues often become our idols, the things we trust to deliver eternal life and blessing to us. In the coming weeks Jesus will be taking on several of these. Look out because on Pentecost 12 He will hit one of our Lutheran favorites, our own humility.
It is not usually pleasant or comfortable to have our idolatry exposed. But it is necessary. As Luther said, we should fear, love, and trust in God above all things. Even something as good as family can become our idol, it can demand our best, it can assume the place in our lives which belongs only Jesus. Don’t get me wrong. Family is a blessing, but it is a blessing by which we enjoy, worship, thank, and praise our Lord.