Friday, October 9, 2015

ARE YOU A PEACEMAKER?

Times-Picayune
Sermon on the Mount (pt9)

According to the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, making peace is an activity of religion and should not occur within the confines of our government.

I do believe they have revealed themselves to be total idiots.

I am aware that my last statement does not move us forward on the road to making peace. And I do not want to discuss their apparent lack of intelligence in this article. Rather, I want to discuss the idea of being a peacemaker.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. (Matt. 5:9)
The men and women who serve our communities, our counties, our states, and our country as keepers of the peace fall into this category. They are peacemakers.

Those who are upset because Jesus said something about them are rabble-rousers and probably do not qualify.

This verse has much more meaning than simply being a compliment for cops and soldiers.

It has to do with anyone who makes peace.

What does that mean?

Probably the first idea that comes to mind is the teacher who breaks up a fight on the playground. (I know that is not allowed any longer, but you get the idea.)

Or, may we consider the numerous times a president has orchestrated a “peace accord” between someone and Israel? He would be classified as a peacemaker.

The graphic at the right shows numerous peacemakers from various traditions, each of whom would be disqualified by the AUSCS. (Did you notice that Jesus was not included in this group?)

Jesus would not be considered a peacemaker according to the standards we have outlined thus far. In fact, He declared otherwise.
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. (Matt. 10:34)

So, on the physical level of stopping conflict, Jesus is not a peacemaker. We know that whenever He showed up around those in any kind of authority, there was usually chaos.

However, we must consider the fact that He is called the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6).

Reconciling the disparity is not a problem if we consider this statement of Jesus:
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (Jn. 14:27)

He said the peace He was giving was “not as the world gives.” The world seems to only understand peace as the cessation of strife, the abandonment of conflict, the laying down of arms.

The peace that Jesus gives does not produce that. In fact, He also stated that rather plainly:
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (Jn. 16:33)

Tribulation is not peaceful. That is what we will have in the world. 

But, in Him we will have peace. In fact, we are told that we may have perfect peace as we abide in Him.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusts in thee. (Isa. 26:3)

Are you getting the idea that we might need to change our definition and concept of peace and peacemakers?

We can certainly allow for the physical and practical applications presented thus far, but we also need to address the deeper underlying concepts that have surfaced.

The verse in Isaiah reminds me of Jesus sleeping in the storm-tossed boat. (Mk. 4:36-39)

Jesus chided the disciples for such a lack of faith. He was there with them. He had said He wanted to go to the other side. It wasn't His time to die; so, He was going.

They were looking at the storm instead of at Him.

What are your personal storms like? Do they go unnoticed as you sleep in peace? Or, do they keep you up at night because you have not yet found the place of peace?

If you have ever had the privilege of being around a peaceful person, then you know what it is like to be around a peacemaker. 

Their very presence has a calming effect.

That is the kind of peacemaker I want to be. How about you?
And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. (James 3:18)
_________________________ 
Your comments, criticisms, or questions are welcome here.
Please consider leaving your response below—either through words, or simply checking the appropriate box below that equals your reaction.
Thank you.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are welcome here.
Feel free to critique, criticize, question, or otherwise make your voice heard in relation to this post.
I only ask that you keep it civil and appropriate to the post.
Thanks.