Devotional: September 29, 2020
‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.’
Matthew 5: 9 NRSV
Jesus encourages us to be people of peace. In a world filled with conflict of all kinds, from minor disagreements to major wars, we are called to be people of peace. Jesus himself rose above the anger, dishonesty, and injustice to be the supreme example of peace for us.
We often think of peace in terms of relationships between nations. Are nations at war, or is the relationship between them characterized by peace and goodwill? We would hope that no one relishes large scale war. War exacts a terrible price on us in so many ways, from livelihoods destroyed, to lives lost, to mental anguish.
However, it would be wrong to believe that peacemaking is only the provenance of nations. We can also make peace as individuals. How do we relate to our friends, neighbors, families, and strangers? Hopefully, we will seek and encourage others, pursuing peace with everyone.
Right now, many American cities are sites of protests. Some of the protests are peaceful, while others are not. News footage of the times where the protestors have become violent goes viral, often inspiring others to feel hostility rising within them. Clashes between the police and protestors fill our newspapers, and our consciences.
For some, it is easy to say that other’s violent actions justify their own violence. Yet what is the logical conclusion of a cycle of escalating violence? More conflict, more violence, and less peace.
Perhaps the most fitting application of this Beatitude would be to say, “Blessed are those who break the cycle of violence, for they are no longer children of this age, but children of God.”
May God grant us the courage, and the will, to seek peace in each and every situation.
God of peace,
Your son came into our world and was hailed as the Prince of Peace. You know how much we need the blessings of peace right now! The voices in our society that are advocating violence are loud and incessant. Therefore, give us ears to hear your still, small voice, encouraging us to turn our swords into plowshares. Let us do our part to pursue peace, even in the midst of the violence in our world. We pray this prayer in the name of the one who promises us peace, Jesus Christ. Amen.