There are wars and rumours of wars all over the world. If you watch or read the news you could be forgiven for thinking there’s no peace anywhere. It’s not just between nations but between communities and groups within nations; it’s between individuals. It sometimes feels as if strife, war, hatred is the natural state of being and we shrug and get on with our lives. Am I wrong about that? I know personally that I too often skip over posts, change channels, avoid newspapers because it just feels like too much and I get overwhelmed by all the problems and issues of the world. I blink and turn my head with a murmured prayer that makes me feel better.
Blessed are the peacemakers—they will be called children of God.
Peace – εἰρήνη (the name Irene comes from this word to give you a sense of the pronunciation). This word has such depth of meaning but at its root it means to join. War, strife, anger, arguments separate us from each other peace brings us back to each other. It restores community – see ‘unity’ in that word.
Makers – from ποιέω. This also has so many levels of meaning – to make, produce, bear, appoint, declare, cause, author, do, celebrate. Those give a little peek into how I might go about being a peacemaker.
As in so many things I start at ground zero – my relationship with God.
5 Since we have been acquitted and made right through faith, we are able to experience true and lasting peace with God through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, the Liberating King.
He’s the peacemaker here – ultimately He is in every situation of course; He just chooses to work through me. By His sacrifice he made it possible for me to have peace with God. In His fabulous marvellous extraordinary grace He doesn’t stop there; He wants that peace to continue and extend to all those around me. That’s where the verse in Matthew starts. I have peace with God and now I have to be that peace in every situation I come to be it my marriage, my family, my workplace, my community, my nation.
Ah, how beautiful the feet of those on the mountain
who declare the good news of victory, of peace and liberation,
I had to go to Isaiah for the beautiful word Shalom – שָׁלוֹם – wholeness, completeness, quiet, tranquility, contentment all wrapped up in our 5 letter word ‘peace’. It’s the greeting between people with hands outstretched. It’s a desire for the blessing hidden in the word to come on the other person.
The probability of my making peace in any major world conflict is around zero but the possibility of my making peace in my relationships, through the power of the Holy Spirit, is 100%. It hangs right there in front of me: waiting for me to choose the better way, waiting for me to curb my reaction and to act in His way and will. I believe ultimately only the return of Jesus will bring true world peace but He wouldn’t have called me to be a peacemaker if there wasn’t some point right here and right now.
First in my heart, then in my life and then extended further and further. No longer shrugging and blinking away the hard things but power and prayer. I am a child of God; I need to live up to the responsibility.