Friday, June 26, 2009

Blessed are the Peacemakers

In the sermon on the mount, Jesus gives us a number of statements beginning with the words, "Blessed are the....." These are often referred to as the Beatitudes which are not only memorable but often considered counter-intuitive, a proposition that seems likely to be not true based on personal understanding or intuition. However, the issue is that our understanding is often flawed and we are better off trusting what God says about a situation.

Take the statement of Jesus that says, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." Matthew 5:9 Now, being a peace maker may have been something that you may have thought involved marching against tyranny or war mongers. Perhaps joining with some “peaceniks” against armies of war and oppression.

I've found however that the work of a peacemaker is actually much more local than global. Introducing peace and communicating understanding is something that is sorely needed in the world in general and in Christian circles in particular. Hardly a day passes that I don’t receive an email, message or text that encourages me to stand up against something, or someone that somebody feels duty-bound to fight.

There is an endless parade of issues, political struggles and competitive viewpoints that well-meaning Christians feel compelled to rally an army of souls to call in, stand-up and vote against.

When as a church are we going to be defined by not what we are against, but simply as "Sons of God"? Perhaps, it will be when we seek to avoid hostility, and find opportunities to bring tranquility and sanity into what others see as a chaotic and intimidating world.

Christians have been very actively politically in the United States for over twenty years, casting votes for politicians and actively supporting various causes, some good, some misguided. It is time we become peacemakers and simply become known as "Sons of God"

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