By Brooke Holt
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." Matthew 5:9
In one of the most challenging times in our country, I saw a beautiful example of a peacemaker. Riots were happening all over the United States; fires were burning; chaos reigned throughout our streets. To complicate things more, Covid-19 ran rampant throughout the United States and much of the world, creating deep fear within the hearts and minds of all people - black, white, Hispanic, Asian, European, etc. Peace was hard to find in those challenging days!
Right in the center of that fear and the chaos of a riot, someone took a photo of a police officer with his hand laid upon the shoulder of one of the rioters. The police officer was not harassing the man or even reprimanding him for his actions. Instead, both of their heads were bowed in prayer. In that prayer, a bridge was built between a white man and a black man, one who was called to enforce the law and one who had broken the law. Prayer brought peace and healing between those with bowed heads.
So how do we follow the policeman's lead of becoming a peacemaker? It begins with recognizing we have peace with the Father through his Son. As Paul writes to the Corinthians, "All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation" (2 Corinthians 5:18). As God's reconciled people, we now have a call on our lives to be reconcilers. Do you know that? Do you live into it? The world seems to thrive on creating division. Just look at the media today. They do not celebrate peace. The more animosity they stir up within the people, the more viewers seem to tune in to hear the next big story or the next big scandal. While people become polarized, the media makes a lot of money.
As God's people, we are not to live in this division. We are not to run from our enemies but to listen to them, to hear their hearts and their needs, and to seek a way forward that unites us. We will not always agree with people, but it does not mean we cannot have peace between us. A peacemaker seeks to overcome evil with good. A peacemaker seeks peace with everyone, not just the people who think, look, and act like they do. A peacemaker seeks to know people and to show compassion to them as opposed to judgment.
To be a peacemaker requires humility, submission to the Lord, and a powerful equipping by God's Spirit. Where the enemy seeks to divide us, the Lord seeks to unite us. Let's choose to align ourselves with the Lord while we resist the work of our enemy. Through Christ, we too, can be reconcilers.
Are you seeking to live as a peacemaker? Where would the Lord like to further your work in this area? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
How do you prepare your hearts for Christmas as you prepare your homes, meals, and gifts? Underneath all the busyness of Christmas lies the true purpose of the season – the celebration of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. Hope-Peace-Love-Joy is a four-week Advent Study focused on preparing your hearts for the coming king. Start your day with a short devotional reading. Each week, an engaging video teaching from our authors, Marcia and Gilda, will lead you into discussion questions included in the small group study guide. This Advent season make some time to study, reflect, and discuss the significance of Jesus coming to dwell among his people. Invite some neighbors or your best friends to join you on this faith adventure. Make time to rekindle or renew your faith this Advent season.
To see all of our Advent Resources, click here.
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