“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.” – Matthew 5:9
As we mourn another senseless and heartbreaking violent tragedy in San Bernardino, we are reminded that our Advent theme for the coming Sunday is “Peace.” Peace seems hard to come by these days, not only with the violence that surrounds us, but with the divisiveness that exists in our society where we see ourselves always more focused on condemning the “other” (whichever person or group that may be) versus coming together.
When it comes to the subject of peace, we as disciples of Christ should be drawn to Jesus’ loving words from the Beatitudes. Blessed are the peacemakers.
What does it mean to be a peacemaker? By thinking of that word very specifically, we are reminded that it’s not enough to merely want peace or to think about peace. We have to work for peace. We have to be the ones to champion reconciliation. And we as the church have to be the ones to lead the way in this all-important work and be the light of the world that Christ calls us to be.
Yes, we can, we should, and we must pray for peace. At the same time, we are emboldened to unite our faith with action to be the embodiment of these prayers. This is seen in the life of Jesus, who brought together his prayers, his teaching, and his actions in his ministry. We as Christians are encouraged to answer the call to work for peace and put in the hard yards to bring about reconciliation to an increasingly violent and fractured world.
Preach peace. Pray for peace. Work for peace. Be the peacemaker Jesus teaches the children of God to be.