Blessed Are the Peacemakers
by Seattle ALC
Jesus said: “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5: 9) As Christians, we are followers of Christ, Who is the Prince of Peace. Although He always bears this title, as God’s children we often place greater emphasis on this part of His ministry during the celebration of Christmas.
It is a beautiful thing to see the outpouring of love and concern for others that is generally shown at Christmas. The sins of selfishness and greed seem to be more readily controlled during this season than at any other time of the year. Sacrifices are made by people from all walks of life (christian and non-christian) for the benefit of the less fortunate. It is also encouraging to see that many overtures toward reconciliation are made between people whose relationships at best can be described as strained.
As children of God, being a peacemaker is our full-time calling. When we have come into a right relationship with God through justifying faith in Jesus Christ, we can receive the capacity to become true peacemakers. This is not possible through human effort. It must be done by the motivation of the Holy Spirit and under the influence of the love of God.
Practicing the role of a peacemaker does not mean that we sacrifice truth. Neither does it mean that we lack enlightenment in the Word or spiritual discernment. Nor does it mean that we do not have zeal for the things of the Lord. It may, however, mean that we need to learn to improve our ability to make a better distinction between what is of the flesh and what is of the spirit. It may also mean understanding the difference between satisfying carnal pride that rises from the feeling that we have won in a war of words in defense of what we call the truth, and the realization that the truths of God themselves are capable of setting all imprisoned souls free. We cannot fortify, defend or advance the kingdom of God with human strength, for the kingdom is not in word but in power (I Corinthians 4: 2) and that word is not bound. (II Timothy 2: 9)
When we are satisfied with the role of a servant (door-keeper) Psalm 84: 10) in the hose of our God and we do not act as Lord’s over God’s heritage (I Peter 5: 3) we can more readily remember the Biblical counsel not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think. (Romans 12: 3) We are members in one body, the body of Christ, and, therefore, members one of another. (Romans 12: 5) The members of our natural bodies live at peace with one another and all serve for the health of the body.
There is no competitive spirit or strife between them or among them. Each member serves in its capacity for the well being of the body. This harmony in nature is a good example for the spiritual body. As members of this spiritual body, we are told to follow after the things which make for peace and the things with which we may edify one another. (Romans 14: 19) To this teaching, the author of the Hebrews Epistle adds: “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12: 14)
In writing to the Philippian Christians (for whom he had suffered persecution and imprisonment) Paul asked them to fulfil his joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord and of one mind. He warned against doing things through strife and vain glory and told them that in lowliness of mind they should each esteem the other better than themselves. (Philippians 2: 2-3) In this same epistle, he also outlined the significant spiritual experiences through which He had obtained the righteousness which is of God. With expressed confidence in the power of God and His Word, he added: “Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded. And if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.” (Philippians 3: 15)
As we begin this new year, let us ask the Prince of Peace to extend His reign in our hearts through yet another day. May we be given the mind of Christ — that of a servant - so that our swords would become plowshares and our spears would become pruning hooks. (Isaiah. 2: 4 and Micah 4: 3)
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, what soever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things.
“Those things which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” (Philippians 4: 8-9)
By the late Pastor A.C. Holmgren from the January 1991 Church bulletin.
Submitted by Pastor Stan
December 31, 2022
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