Serious Peacemakers

Chic Broersma

READ : Galatians 2:11-14

Blessed are the peacemakers. (Matt. 5:9)

Most congregations do better at holding their peace than at making peace where conflicts are present. We pray for forgiveness while ignoring grudges against fellow members, letting unresolved conflicts persist. No blessing here. According to Jesus the blessed are those who actively seek reconciliation. When we do this hard work we show we are spiritual kin to Jesus, who achieved peace for us “by the blood of his cross” (Col. 1:20). We would still be enemies of God if Jesus had not shed his own blood to reconcile us.

Peacemaking isn’t the same as being genial or easy-going; it doesn’t mean accepting peace-at-any-price to avoid conflict. It takes moral courage. The apostle Paul demonstrated that when he confronted Peter about his inconsistent behavior, which had broken the peace between Jewish and gentile believers in Galatia (Gal. 2:11-14).

Often confrontation is needed. A Palestinian pastor did just that. One Sunday he walked to the exit doors and locked them. He announced no one would leave until they had reconciled with familiar enemies sitting nearby. Slowly people began to seek one another out. Others followed suit with hugs and tears. A different congregation left that day than had gathered hours earlier. Peacemaking activity spread out into the community. It continued all day from house to house. For an amazing first person account read Blood Brothers, by Elias Chacour.

PRAYER

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.