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I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. (Matthew 10:34)
The eccentric creator of Batman, Tim Burton, fashions a modern-day fairy tale in Edward Scissorhands. In a pastel-colored suburbia, Peg Boggs (Dianne Wiest), "your friendly Avon representative," can't find a customer. So she goes up to a gothic mansion and there discovers a gentle young man named Edward (Johnny Depp) who has scissors where his hands should be. Taking pity on Edward, she takes him down to live in her house with her husband, son, and teenage daughter, Kim (Winona Ryder). Some in the neighborhood are threatened and scared by Edward, but most come to appreciate him and his topiary gardening skills and haircutting ability. Yet Edward's swordlike fingers have a way of getting him into trouble. The police think he carries a deadly weapon. Kim's boyfriend antagonizes him and eventually tries to kill him. One woman thinks he is from the devil. But Kim and Peg know that Edward is wonderful and special, though in the end they let him return to the mansion on the hill.
Like Edward, Jesus was gentle but carried a sword. From the day he came to earth, Jesus upset the existing order. Jesus challenged the thinking of the spiritual establishment. Jesus said you were blessed if you were "poor," "hungry," and "mournful" (Matthew 5). Later, Jesus said he came to turn "a man against his father" and "a daughter against her mother" (Matthew 10:35). Though he was all about love, Jesus came to upset the applecart and cut apart the normal, but flawed, way of living.
Letting Christ live in you is dangerous. God says his Word is "living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit" (Hebrews 4:12). When Jesus shows up, the real thoughts and attitudes of people come to the surface. With Jesus in our hearts, we are anything but pastel colored, cookie-cutter, vanilla-flavored suburbanites. We are warriors who will threaten those who are comfortably wrong.
Are you willing to be sharp and dangerous for God?
PRAYER IDEA: Ask God to show you how you can change your neighborhood for good.
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