Where Have All the Peacemakers Gone?
The never-ending contentious environment that is the current state of affairs…
The us versus them mentality that seems to accompany every issue…
Justice being used as political bargaining chips…
The truth being overshadowed by shouts and accusations…
In a world of division, strife, boycotts, and seemingly every issue being politicized… I can’t help but wonder if God waits to applause the peacemakers? With each passing day, I wonder if He waits still. Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.” Therefore, as sons and daughters of God we are to be ambassadors for peace as we reflect his heart for his world.
The peacemaker chooses love instead of choosing sides…
Seeks reconciliation rather than revenge…
Is characterized by humble service to instead of slander towards perceived enemies…
And pursues everything which constitutes the highest good for mankind.
Oh, how our culture could benefit from a few more peacemakers. Let’s be clear about something, this isn’t a passive, sit around and do nothing, version of Christianity. To be a peacemaker one must be willing to get in the middle of conflict and not be overcome by it. Peacemakers engage, struggle, and persist, so that each day they can attest to a better way, a higher good, for they are expressing God’s desires for his creation. In other words, to unite the divided is to actively take part in the mission of God.
Let’s also not forget that those blessed few who actively seek to make peace, “they will be called the children of God.” Those who utilize all the influence they have to build a bridge between adversaries. Who believe that “love fulfills the requirements of God’s law” and therefore use their life as a sermon that is louder than any echoed off the church house walls. These are those who God looks at and smiles, similar to a proud parent whose heart overflows with gladness and joy at the sight of their children.
God’s children understand that their gospel is that of peace. They believe what so many have thought impossible: because God made it possible for us to reconcile with him, it is now imaginable that enemies can be reconciled in the here and now!Maybe what many of us in the church need is a revival of imagination that will reopen the doors of possibility that have been closed and kept shut by pessimistic thinking.
There once lived a man named Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) who had one of the most profound impacts on the church in the thirteenth century. He was known for living a life of sacred simplicity, and inspiring others to do the same. Many close to him said that he lived out the words Jesus preached in the Sermon on the Mount more so than any other person. The following ‘Peace Prayer’ has been attributed to St. Francis:
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace!
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;
Oh, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life!
Yes, the world needs a new breed of thinkers—people who are ever aware of God’s grace in their lives and yet believe that with Christ all things are possible. Those who dare to dream something new and accomplish something others would deem ridiculously unfeasible. The world needs people enthralled with possibility, driven by an optimistic realism rarely seen in the average bystander. People who see themselves as pilgrims prepared to journey into the heart of hell on their way to heaven. Sojourners who believe their one journey can impact the world. Those whose very existence seems to rumor that there is a better way, and maybe, even a better world.