Peacemaking — a Holistic Enterprise
December 8, 2016
Updated February 20, 2018
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“Blessed are the peacemakers; for they will be called children of God.”
— Matthew 5:9
The Bible is filled with wisdom about the task for peacemakers whom Jesus called “blessed” and “children of God” (Matt. 5:9). In fact, the Presbyterian Church (USA) prepared a devotional series featuring a Bible passage on peacemaking every day for three years, and not one passage was repeated.
One of the important discoveries of that series of devotions is that God calls all of us to be peacemakers in all of life. There are examples of peacemaking in oneself — claiming the peace that only God can give (Rom. 5:1-11). Looking at the story of Joseph and his brothers (Gen. 45; 50), peacemaking in families is challenging but also profoundly rewarding. And peacemaking in the community is exceedingly important as we work for justice for all of our neighbors.
As Genesis 2:15 makes clear, we are called to take care of God’s earth, ensuring its peace — a task that is both timely and challenging in light of today’s changing climate. What’s more, making peace on a worldwide basis is critical work, ensuring that war between God’s children is always the last resort and never the first. In a world that has nuclear weapons and drones and a myriad of other weapons, it takes strong faith, hope, and love to engage in peacemaking.
Reformed people are clear that peacemaking is the human response to God’s gift of peace. Whenever or wherever there is brokenness, God gets there first, healing the brokenness and calling us to join in the work of peace-giving. By participating in God’s peace-giving work, we become peacemakers in all of the contexts of our lives.
We don’t pick and choose where God calls us to do peacemaking. As Christian disciples, we may be called to be peacemakers in all of these contexts.
O God, we want to join you in your peace-giving throughout the world. Give us the wisdom, faithfulness, and courage for that task. In the name of Christ we pray. Amen.
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