Blessed are the Peacemakers

Greg and I are on a roll… a very slow roll… but a roll none-the-less.  It started several years ago when I decided that we needed to replace the medicine cabinet in our master bathroom.  Years of wear and tear had left it a rather unsightly mess.  That thought has simmered in the back of my mind for a long time, but has never moved me to action until I started to hear about all the home-improvement projects that you all were doing during this COVID time.  Surely, if you could do it, we could.  You know what happened next… the medicine cabinet replacement led to new hardware for the door, a new light over the sink, new paint for trim and walls, and a spackle job on a few dings.  Before we knew it, the bathroom was torn apart, pieces laying all over the house, the bathroom door balanced on the piano bench in the living room, and painter’s tape and plastic in too many places… and still we are not done.
That is the fear most of us have about trying to address the less than peaceful realities in our relationships.  We hear Jesus’ call to be peacemakers.  We see the brokenness in our family and friendships.  We know all too well the wear and tear the years have caused… how some of our relationships are an unsightly mess.  And we have heard more sermons than we care to count about forgiveness and loving our enemy.  But we also know that if we dive in, there will be no easy fix to the mess.  In fact, the effort to heal the hurt may initially cause more mess.  So… most of us just allow those thoughts to simmer in the back of our minds, knowing what we should do, but hesitating to begin the work.
Into our hesitation Jesus speaks: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.  Notice, that Jesus did not say the peacemakers will “be” the children of God.  We already are the children of God.  John writes in his letter:
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be the children of God!
And that is what we are!” (I John 3:1)
We are the children of God because of God’s love, not because we are any good at peace-making.  In this Beatitude teaching, Jesus says that peacemakers will be “called” the children of God.  People will notice our peace-making efforts and recognize in us the face of the Prince of Peace.  In our peace-making, we will bear the family resemblance to the One who created us.  Is that what people see when they look at us?  On Sunday, several people remarked about the paint remnants that were still on my hands from my bathroom renovation work on Saturday.  Instead of being embarrassed that I had missed a few spots, I was rather proud to be known as one of the home-improvement people!  How much more I would like people to see evidence in my life that I am willing to do the hard work to seek peace.
In one week, our nation will go to the polls.  Actually, many of us have already voted by mail or early at county offices.  But over half of our citizenry has yet to cast their vote, and the tallies are still to be counted.  It feels like we are collectively holding our breath, anxious about what comes next.  Will the results bring a peaceful next step?  Will our democracy prove strong enough to allow a peaceful transition of power, or a peaceful continuation depending who wins the race?  I’m not a betting person, but I am concerned.  Peace seems to be in short supply these days.  So… it is time for the children of God to begin to look like our Father.  We are called not just to yearn for peace, but to work for peace.  No longer can we just complain about what is happening in our streets, we need to be part of the solution.  Our words, our actions, our relationships need to show the marks of the Savior himself.
Join me in committing ourselves to be peace-makers… to pray for peace, and to allow that prayer to move and shape us into God’s peaceful revolution.  Please hold Lenape Valley in your prayers on Tuesday, November 3rd as our church is one of the polling sites in this election.  Pray for peace on our premises.  Pray for peace as our people vote.  Pray for peace as the election officials count the votes.  Pray for peace as our nation hears the results of the election.  May the children of God allow that prayer for peace to move and shape every thought, every word, every action, that we would be instruments of God’s peace-making work in the world.
With you, answering the call…
Anita
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