Blessed Are the Peacemakers… Matthew 5:9
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:17-18
The lone student in Tiananmen Square. Harriet Tubman. Mahatma Gandhi. Mother Teresa. Nelson Mandela. Rosa Parks. Martin Luther King Jr. Dahoud Nasser.
These are the people that come to mind immediately when I think of those who make peace. They were (are in the case of Nasser) not wimpy idealists with their heads in the clouds. They took a stand for peace. They inspired movements for equality and human rights. And they did it all through acts of quiet dignity and love.
Of course, Jesus was The Exemplar. Many of his contemporaries – even his apostles – thought he had come as a warrior Messiah who would take up an army against the Emperor and claim the throne of Rome. But Jesus’ claim was wider, and his kingdom was beyond what any could imagine. Jesus overcame an empire greater than Caesar’s, and his throne is at the right hand of God.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:33
With great effort and practice I am learning peacemaking. I learn from the example of Jesus who saw everyone through the eyes of love and grace. I learn from my Bible studies teacher, who continually reminds his students that we must offer compassion, that we are all sinners, and there but for the grace of God go we. I even learn from a fictional character named Sergeant Greg Parker, in a now defunct Canadian TV series called Flashpoint.
In this series, Sgt. Parker is the lead negotiator of a team of responders who attend to high stakes hostage situations. Parker’s job is to take every measure possible to see that both the hostages and the aggressors come out of the situation unharmed. To do this, Parker must be able to step outside himself and develop compassion for the aggressor. He must be open to change his worldview. Sometimes, he allows his emotion to become raw and real because Parker, in his transparency, can see a small seed of his own human frailty in his enemy. There but for the grace of God goes he. Parker is a peacemaker.
It is easy to make peace with those with whom we naturally find common ground. The difficulty comes in finding and making peace with our enemies. Yet, we are called to do that.
“You have heard the law that said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. In that way, you will act as true children of your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:43-45) And “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” (Romans 12:18)
by Ken Mudenda
We live in a world where people admire what they can’t afford
Poor people carrying rich information that they can’t encode
We are called to live in harmony but we’d rather be born thugs
Blessed we are but we ignore the One who uplifts us from rags
Everyday somebody dies for a piece of silver and gold
Peace can’t be attained without the mercy of the LORD
For a single meal on the table children are sold
Peace can’t be gasped without the breath of God
It’s funny how followers of the Son come out so cold
Peace is aimed at us, can’t you see the red dot?
Not the Hindu third eye, but Jesus’ blood spot
We have crowned violence and failing to dethrone it
It’s like a stubborn child, we just can’t disown it
In terms of resolutions a new year is just the day after the end of December
Your life remains the same till you change your mind-set not just the calendar
Instead of carrying the armour of God we’d rather carry a piece
The world will forever be indie till we are signed to peace.
We are only able to offer that kind of peace when we are comforted by the peace that God offers. When we accept His unmerited grace and mercy, we begin to feel connected, we begin to think in terms of being a vessel for God’s love, grace and mercy. At some point, even though we don’t understand it, our desire to look into people, rather than at them, has evolved. We have become transformed.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
Making peace is not about you or me; nor is it about our identified enemy. It is about connecting with those others who are also jars of clay. We are all broken vessels. Some may be broken beyond repair; but we are all His creation. And there but for His grace go I.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God. Matthew 5:9
Peace copyright 2014 Ken Mudenda
Ken Mudenda is a poet and student. I am Poetry http://kenmudenda.wordpress.com/ is the way Ken reaches out with the hand of peace through his words. His poetry is raw and transparent and cuts deep into the heart of his love for Jesus. He lives in Lusaka, Zambia and is a student at the University of Zambia.
This post can also be seen on Susan Irene Fox, http://susanirenefox.com/2014/02/28/fruit-of-the-spirit-peace/