Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

The word peace shows up over 370 times in the Bible. Jesus includes peacemakers in the beatitudes as those who will be seen as children of God. Jesus was a peacemaker himself. He came to bring an end to the enmity between us and God. He sought restoration and healing for this relationship through the Cross. His pain and suffering were caused by our sin. Seeking this peace between God and man cost Jesus everything.

Peacemakers are the ones who stand in the space between. They seek the points of conflict and look for resolutions. They put their wellbeing on the line for the sake of peace. They hold the tension of conflict in order to draw people together. They are often misunderstood and looked at as fools who hope beyond reason. Peacemakers are children of God who seek the image of God in others. The point to things that connect rather than things that divide.

In a culture that seems so intent on division it is hard to be a peacemaker. It is hard to work for restoration and reconciliation in a world where conflicts define us. When image is an amalgam of causes and responses we have a hard time getting people to look at the things that make them the same. When we are always looking for the thing that makes “us” different from “them” it is hard to function as a peacemaker. Christ sought peace for us before we even acknowledged our need for it:   ‎ “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (ESV, Romans 5:6-8)

In light of the resurrection of Jesus we have the chance to examine our lives and look for places in need of reconciliation. We can function as those who seek peace in our lives and the lives of those around us. We can invite people to accept the peace offered by Jesus. We can live as those who are blessed by Christ in the beatitude above, children of God and makers of peace.

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