Being a Peacemaker for Jesus

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.   (Matthew 5:9)

I have been praying today’s words from Jesus throughout this year’s election process.  As we think about and consider where we are right now as a nation, are there any more apt, important, or needed words than what Jesus said long ago beside the Sea of Galilee?

Being a peacemaker isn’t needed when everything is smooth, easy, or agreeable.  Being a peacemaker doesn’t mean that we shy away from complex and messy issues, nor does it mean that we aren’t willing to do battle for what is right and good.  Peacemaking comes in the midst of disagreements and misunderstandings.  Peacemaking happens when we agree to disagree, when we argue with respect, when we seek understanding and are willing to listen, and when we can negotiate, compromise, and seek win-win solutions.  It’s impossible to do any peacemaking when we resort to name-calling, vilifying, or trashing others or their perspectives.

At nearly every inflection point or pivot moment in the Old Testament, the leaders of the Jews would bring the community together, and they would list a series of blessings if the people went one way and list a series of curses if they went the other way.  In essence, they said, “If you choose God and live into His ways, if you choose justice and righteousness and serve those in need, if you are an example of holiness to the nations, you will be blessed.”  And then they would continue, “But if you stray from God, if you reject His ways and don’t live into the commandments, if you ignore the down-trodden, the needy, the poor, the oppressed, and if you rob and cheat and treat people unfairly, you will be cursed.”

I believe that Jesus is right now wanting us to hear these words: “Blessed are the peacemakers.”  I believe He wants us to acknowledge that we are at an inflection point and a pivot moment in the life and history of our land.  We will bring blessings to ourselves, to others, and to our nation if we seek to be peacemakers during these troubling times.  We will bring curses and pain and brokenness if we resort to being strife-makers, and if we incite yet more divisiveness through our inflamed passions and inflated words.

If we choose to be peacemakers, we will be blessed with hope.  As broken as things may feel or look right now, as people of faith we must hold onto the promise that “all things are possible with God.”  But if we foment conflict, if we fan the flames of demonizing others, if we always look for the worst and not the best in each other, we will do serious damage to ourselves, each other, and our common life.

The question is not whether Jesus is speaking directly to our nation and us right now—He is.  The question is whether we will listen to Him and seek His blessings through being peacemakers in His name for the security, sanity, and well-being of us all.

Reflection Questions:

  1. In order to be a peacemaker for Jesus, are there any words you need to stop saying, any actions you need to stop doing, or any behaviors you need to change?
  1. In order to be a peacemaker for Jesus, are there any words you need to say, any actions you need to perform, or any behaviors you need to embrace?
  1. How would you be blessed if you dedicated yourself to being a peacemaker?

One thought on “Being a Peacemaker for Jesus

  1. Barbara Liddle

    God bless you. Your “Notes on Hopes” have been inspirational during this difficult year. I pray you and your stay safe and blessed. Thank you.

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