READ : Philippians 4:1-7
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Matthew 5:9)
Jesus, Prince of Peace, where is our peace? Thousands of years have passed and still we long for peace. We watch televised accounts of war and destruction the world around. We see brokenness and conflict in our families, our communities, our churches, and we pray, “How long, O Lord, how long?” In our heart of hearts we own that we have become cynical; peace, it appears, is for another lifetime.
Throughout the Beatitudes, Jesus’ teachings are meant both for each hearer’s present life and for a time that is yet to come. His teaching is personal in that he addresses individuals, but it is also collective and corporate. The kingdom of God in every generation is that corporate witness of the community of individuals who live by Jesus’ teaching, i.e., the church. The peacemaking ability of the community collectively then is no greater than the commitment of each of its individual members to be peacemakers.
Peacemaking does not come easily to us. Nor is it natural to us. But it is to God. Jesus calls us to himself and teaches us so that we might know the heart and very nature of God. What are the peacemakers called, both individually and collectively? They are called the children of God.
Gracious God, strengthen our hearts to be peacemakers in our time. In Jesus’ name. Amen.