Today there is some hope of a ceasefire for Syria, as world powers have announced their intention to seek a nationwide cessation of hostilities. We can only hope and pray that they do find a way through, to bring an end to the chilling horrors of war, in a way that can produce a society where people can live happily and peaceably. We so need peacemakers.
Is this what Jesus was hoping for, in Matthew 5:9 – “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God”? In a territory governed by the mighty Roman Empire, was he hoping that someone would broker peace, and bring them independence without bloodshed? I believe it was a different sort of peace Jesus was promoting. He knew of another conflict, of even greater significance, where peacemaking was even more necessary.
Sin had caused a rift in the relationship between God and man. By being born as a baby in Bethlehem, becoming both God and man, Jesus found a way to fix it. He paid the penalty for that sin when he was crucified. The curtain in the temple, the very symbol of that separation, was torn at that moment , ‘from top to bottom’. God ripped through that barrier, to pour out his love afresh onto a weary, needy world. Jesus himself was the ultimate peacemaker; the one who made a way to finding peace with God; the one who was The Way.
It’s a job he calls all his followers to copy. Not to die, and pay the price for sin – he did that, on one day in history, once and for all. But to be witnesses to that fact, to demonstrate with their lives the effects of living in harmony with God, to show others the way to end the hostilities in their souls. Most people do not know that God wants to have a meaningful relationship with them, that he wants them to know his peace, his forgiveness, his power to live great lives. It’s our job to bridge that gap. To make God accessible to other people. To be peacemakers – real sons of God.
God, help me to see every interaction with another person as an opportunity to bring them closer to you. Help me be a living demonstration, that makes other want to know the God who is alive and at work in me. Let me be a peacemaker between them and you.