The timing couldn’t have be better! This week we were studying and discussing “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” The week has been filled with all sorts of fears and rage and hate so this was very timely for us.
The reward here is very appealing. I remember a conversation I had with an older pastor who was looking forward to the day when he heard the words “Well done thou good and faithful servant…” He was striving to be a workman who was approved of by his Master and Lord. In this passage though Jesus invites us beyond the servant-Lord relationship to that of: a child, a joint heir, and friend.
But how can we be “peace makers”? We recall our total dependence on God, our spiritual poverty. This is not something that comes naturally to us and it is not in our power. “We wrestle not against flesh and blood.” “The weapons of our warfare are not fleshly.” We honestly mourn and repent of our bent toward hatred and violence and we lament for the consequence of man’s fallen nature. We seek God’s aide to seek gentleness as we look for ways to address evil doers. This again is not the way of the world. Our tendency is to throw more fuel on a conflagration rather than to seek ways to douse it! We ask how my response might contribute toward restoring evil doers while steadfastly resisting evil.
We do not satisfy ourselves with ‘online’ or virtual acts of standing against evil but we ruthlessly check our own eyes for ‘beams’ and we take action in our homes, neighbourhoods, and communities. We act justly! We hunger and thirst for God’s Kingdom to be revealed more and more in our lives and communities.
We recognize the vastness of the mercy we have received from God’s hand and we try to emulate that. When we were actively enemies of God He sent his Son to reconcile us. I must not ask if people deserve mercy for I do not deserve mercy. If it were deserved it would not be mercy. The strange and wonderful justice of God calculates the unfairness of mercy into the calculation. We ought to do the same.
With these tools in our kit we can be peacemakers. Not as people who paper over injustice but as people; of love, of gentleness, of conviction, with hearts to see people reconciled. This is a daunting task that calls us time and time to a recognition of our spiritual dependence.
This is what Christ-likeness looks like in the world! And when we are Christ-like then God looks at us and says “That’s my child!” As children isn’t that what we long for the most?