“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
The Jewish word, “Shalom” is a prayer of peace and blessing. When Shalom is offered, a prayer is lifted of absolute well-being for another other person. It is a prayer for wholeness to be restored within their lives.
Jesus spoke to his followers and challenged them to live a “new normal” in the Kingdom of God that was going to come to the earth upon his death and resurrection. He taught them that their identity as children of God was going to be intricately linked to their ability to be peacemakers in a world where anxiety and chaos tended to rule the day.
That challenge still exists for believers today. But too often we try to be peace-keepers rather than peace-makers. Peacekeepers often work to keep people and ideas apart so they do not interact with each other because it could become uncomfortable. Think about how we often parent our children! We send warring siblings to their individual rooms so they will quit fighting in an effort to “keep the peace” in the house.
However, Jesus did not call us to be peacekeepers. We are to be peacemakers. Instead of keeping people apart, we are challenged to intervene between two parties, attempting to unite people and ideas together to restore wholeness. Sometimes this means having uncomfortable conversations. This means that there will need to be confrontations. This means wrestling with tough, challenging issues. But we must figure out how to have these conversations, confront one another in love and wrestle with these issues in a manner that restores wholeness...bringing about “shalom” blessings for everyone.
We cannot just keep the peace. We must be about the business of helping to make peace. May we rise to be a peacemaker today. Shalom!