Another great word from David Timms
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
~ Matthew 5:9
Violence confuses us. We fear it and we embrace it. It horrifies us and it entertains us. On the one hand, the thought of a violent home invasion scares the daylights out of us. On the other hand, we spend lots of money on entertainment systems and video games that turn violence into fun. We hate the idea of a physical beating but we’ll watch as others kick, punch, and beat each other in a ring—strangely thinking that the ring somehow justifies or sanitizes the brutality.
The bloodlust of our culture has never been higher. Listen to the violent language. Watch the violent images. Experience the aggression on the roads and the fierceness in the stadiums.
And in such an environment, peacemakers—or even peacetalkers—are persona non grata. Nobody likes them. They’re soft. They’re weak. They’re out of touch. Theodore Roosevelt’s old foreign policy of “speak softly but carry a big stick” has become a common personal mantra. We’re willing to talk for a while (perhaps) but always ready to fight when provoked.
Everyone knows that peacemaking is for fools and idealists.
Everyone except Jesus.
When Jesus honors peacemakers (for they shall be called sons of God) He calls all of His followers to turn peacemaking into a life pursuit.
The challenge, of course, is simply this: Can we be peacemakers while we share the passion for violence that pervades our culture? This advent season calls us to grapple seriously with this question.
The Son of God came into a violent world, without violence. He confronted the established order not with swords and weapons but with words. He came not with bloodlust but a willingness for limited bloodshed—just His own.
Contrary to some distorted views, the “cleansing of the Temple” does not justify everything from berating abortionists to shooting Islamists.
The ancient prophet Isaiah described the promised Christ as “Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) Perhaps as we celebrate His coming we’ll consider our Christmas gifts (and our values) with a fresh thoughtfulness … something befitting sons of God.
In HOPE –
You can find back issues of “In HOPE” (2005-2009) at http://www.hiu.edu/inhope/ .
David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. “In HOPE”, however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board. “In HOPE” has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.