Our Lenten journey continues focusing on the Beatitudes of Jesus:
Taste and See: Then be Filled Messages on the Beatitudes – Matthew 5:1-12
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
We generally think of peace as an absence of war. Whereas that may be an accurate definition, the peace we see in scriptures is more than just the absence of conflict, but it stands for something better in its place. In the Old Testament the word, shalom, means “complete” or “whole.” In other words, it means to restore that which is broken whether it is a broken treaty or a broken relationship. To be a peacemaker does not just mean to stop fighting, it means to start working together for each other’s benefit and for the benefit of all creation.
The prophet Isaiah looked toward a future King who will bring a covenant of shalom (peace) with no end. God’s son will make right all wrongs and heal what is broken. Jesus came to offer his peace to others and complete God’s work of creation through reconciliation. He tells his followers:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”John 14:27 NIV
Jesus not only came to restore the broken relationship between God and us but to restore our relationships with each other. As followers of Jesus, we are called to not only live in God’s peace but to create peace (aka – be a peacemaker). True peace is not just making a treaty to stop fighting, which has never really ever worked for too long, but it is restoring brokenness whether it is in our lives, our relationships, or in our world.
When we celebrate Holy Communion we participate in God’s peace. Paul says peace means participating in the life of Jesus who reconciled all things in heaven and earth, making peace through the blood of his cross (Col. 1:19-20). As we move towards the cross we begin to understand how Jesus’s death and resurrection is the greatest peacemaking move of all as God begins the completion of His peaceable kingdom.
Peacemaking ain’t easy and it takes a lot of work, but it is the work of the children of God, who empowers us to participate. So children, are just spectaculars or really participants?
Come and see, Pastor Rob
““I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.””John 16:33 NIV