To Keep or To Make Peace

Psalm 16, Matthew 5:1-10, 2 Corinthians 5:16-21

“When a person’s ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”
Psalm 16:7

In many parts of the world, the United Nations has stationed peacekeepers. Their purpose is to be a soothing presence in the midst of conflict that has, temporarily, stopped bloodshedding. However, they do not make peace. Their goal is to keep conflict from breaking back out.

Often, sadly, they are merely symbolic. They often are not empowered to actually make peace, and they will usually be pulled out of an area they were stationed in if hostilities rise again. This is not to say that the UN Peacekeepers should violently enforce the peace. That would be counterproductive.

In daily life, people will do many things to keep the peace, even if it is not (even from their own perspective) the best thing spiritually, socially, economically, or physically. Peace is kept by doing nothing. It is a peace of questionable value.

In this section of Matthew called the Beatitudes, the word peacemaker is nearest to reconciler. In other words, “Blessed are the reconcilers.” Paul states that part of the Christian life is to be reconcilers. We are not only to be reconciled to God (through Jesus) and fellow Christians but to help the world to come to the table and to be reconciled to God and each other.

Imagine the whole world reconciled to God and each other. That would be a peace worth having.

  1. For you, what is the difference between a peacekeeper and a peacemaker?
  2. Being a peacemaker is one of the callings of the Christian life. What are you doing to be a peacemaker?
  3. On the playground, in the classroom, online, or at home, what do you do that isn’t peacemaking? What is one thing you can do this coming week to change that?

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.