Pastor's Note - January 14
Christians have to be peacemakers. During our advent series, we took some time to focus on the truth that Christ is our peace, and we have peace in Him. Along with that theme, we recognize that Jesus says in Matthew 5:9; “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” In other words, peacemaking is a proof of divine paternity. If you are a peacemaker, it is evidence that you belong to God, and are His child. Notice that this is more than just peacekeeping. At the very least, we as Christians must be nonviolent, non-quarrelsome, and non-divisive in our nature. As those redeemed by God, we must have a natural disposition of maintaining peace. And if we are determined to fight in violent anger, we can be sure we are determined to be in opposition to Jesus Himself. As a starting point, we should be peaceful. But beyond that baseline, we are called to be peacemakers. That’s a step further. That’s not only keeping peace, but actively making peace. We should be about the work of making peace where there was once hostility. We should be about the work of reconciliation. Where there is strife, we as Christ-followers must be the people who are working to broker and establish peace and reconciliation. If we aren’t about that work, then we can’t truly call ourselves God’s children. Yes, at times peace and reconciliation are not possible (see Romans 12:8; 1 Corinthians 11:19; Matthew 10:34-9). But by default we are those who work toward peace. So, if we are Christ-followers, we will not participate in the angry and hostile fighting of this world. Rather, we will be peacemakers, which may come at a cost. It is personally costly to try to establish peace and reconciliation in the midst of fighting and tension. It takes self-sacrifice – especially when we want to remain in the fight, and conquer the other person – when our heart desires victory more than righteousness. It takes a heart that is quicker to come under the sword than to pick one up. It takes a focus on the cross, where we see that our Lord was willing to die for us, rather than make war against us. At great cost to Himself, He brought us peace. Let us likewise be peacemakers. I am praying that the Lord would make me not only peaceful, but a peacemaker. The Lord is impressing upon me that I have work to do in making peace in some of my own relationships. How about you?