Someone has pointed out that in the past four thousand years there has been less than three hundred years of peace. Even the most positive, optimistic person has to admit that there is something wrong in our world. Just simply talking about peace or wishing there were peace is not enough. Jesus calls us to be actively engaged in bringing peace wherever there is misunderstanding, hostility, hatred, conflict, or division. He calls this ministry – the ministry of peace making. Peacemakers are agents of reconciliation. These individuals work at bringing together rivaling parties. They take seriously the prayer of St. Francis: “Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace; where there is hatred let me sow love.” Peacemakers are committed to overcoming evil by doing good. Peacemakers are not troublemakers. A Christian high school choir was on a tour in England. A relatively new convert to the Christian faith asked the principal, “Are these the best singers in your school? Is this your whole choir?” The principal explained that the young people were selected not only for their singing ability but also for their character and relational qualities. “We wouldn’t want any troublemakers to be in our choir.” The new convert was surprised, “Troublemakers? Why would a Christian be a troublemaker?” A Christian troublemaker is an oxymoron – those two shouldn’t go together. Peace making is not avoiding or running from problems, conflict, or trouble. It is not appeasement, always going along just to maintain peace. Nor is peace making letting people run over you. Peace making is not “cheap peace.”
You are not called to be a doormat. Peacemakers have a passion for peace. They realize unresolved conflict blocks their fellowship with God. (I John 4:20-21) They also acknowledge that unresolved conflict prevents answered prayer. (I Peter 3:7) Unresolved conflict hinders our happiness and makes us miserable, especially in our relationships with those closest to us. Being a peacemaker has never been easy. We will endure persecution if we choose to become peacemakers. Peacemakers attempt to calm the waters, they don’t trouble them. Peacemakers try to build bridges and not walls of division. Peacemakers constantly work for reconciliation to bring people together rather than tearing people apart. This is the high calling that our Lord offers to us. Won’t you make a commitment to become a peacemaker? For this truly is one of the greatest ministries on earth!
See you Sunday in church!