By: Victoria Fisher
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9
Most of us want peace. Very few of us are willing to make it. A lot of times a peacemaker might be viewed as someone who avoids conflict and minds their own business. However, this is not what Jesus wanted peacemaking to be. He wants us to engage in conflict – not to inflict it, but to resolve it. A peacemaker is always looking for ways to bring justice, harmony, repentance, and reconciliation. The life of Jesus, the almighty peacemaker, shows just how difficult and dangerous this work really is.
My friends and I spend quite a bit of time at the Delmar Loop in St. Louis. Every time we make our way down there, we see several people in a circle wearing all black with white face masks, holding TVs. They don’t say anything; they just stand in silence and let the video play. The videos show the harsh truth of how cruel we are to animals and how we should make the choice not to consume meat. I think a lot of times protesters are labeled as troublemakers. Instead, they are fighting for what they believe is right. While some groups of protesters are indeed only causing chaos, most of them only want a resolution of peace. The protesters on the Loop are engaging in disagreement so they can kindly resolve the problem of animal abuse.
Today elders and authorities grumble over young protesters and people being involved in drama. They don’t understand that the ultimate end goal is to bring peace just as Jesus did. The majority of the time, we Christians are expected to stay in a bubble and create a personal peace within ourselves. We are almost expected not to engage in any conflict or step out of the “holier than thou” boundary. However, that’s not what Jesus called us Christians to do at all. He called each and every one of us to take his hand, step out, and be a part of the conflict. He is searching for peacemakers that he can use. Will you be one?
Peacekeeping isn’t glamorous; it’s messy and unpleasant. Protesters, I’m sure, get a lot of hate from the outside world. However, friends engulfed in arguments with other close friends are not always in the wrong. If our end goal is to make a situation right, then it is our job to step in and bring the peace—otherwise where else will it come from? What matters in the end is that we put ourselves in a situation that may not feel comfortable so we can lovingly address the argument to soothe the quarrel within.
The blessing promised to those who bring peace is the approval of being the “child of God.” Peacemaking is not only hard, but it is blessed. When we are rooted firmly in the peace of Christ, we must make Christ our model to follow. His peacemaking earned him hatred from religious leaders. His peacemaking led him to the garden, not for a midnight refreshment, but for an overflowing amount of wrath. His peacemaking led him to the cross. It led him to darkness.
But it also led him to a crown, a throne, and a people from every tongue and nation. This is the expectation of peacemakers. They have scarred skin and have been despised, but their harvest is full and their title is no cause for shame. They shall be called children of God.