PRAYING THE BEATITUDES, PART 8
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”
Before Adam and Eve took their first rebellious bite of Eden’s forbidden fruit, the human race has been the object of a war story. There is a protagonist (God, “maker of heaven and earth”), an antagonist (the devil, who “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”), and an ultimate objective (souls of mankind to be claimed). It’s been a war for souls and the stakes are high. We also know that God, our Creator, is sovereign and will accomplish His plans. He is the uncontested victor. Yet, by some great mystery, God allows us mortal beings choice; we have a say in our own involvement in the metaphysical conflict.
God’s sovereignty will one day express itself fully in the realm of earth-dwellers, and He will take on the governing role. His Son Jesus is referred to as the “Prince of Peace” and “of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end” (Isa.9:6,7).
So how is this relevant to us? In His beatitudes, Jesus invites us into a specific relationship with Him. As the Son of God and the Prince of Peace, Jesus calls us to be sons of God and peacemakers too. Jesus wants us to participate with Him in the ‘war’. He’s delegating something of the task of soul-winning to us whose souls have been rescued already. We are to be little Christs here on earth. We who love God are called to express that love by loving our fellow man in his ultimate need. We are to have “feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (Gal.6:15). How can we stand by and watch the antagonist devour unsuspecting souls without offering words and means of hope?
It’s all too easy to be merely peacekeepers. Smile. Be nice to people. Stay silent rather than offend. Go about our own churchy business and let the lost go about theirs. But to be a true peacemaker, we must be proactive. We must be determined, focused, and driven by truth and goodness. Our God is greater than the devilish enemy; truth is stronger than deception, and good will win over evil.
In the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ (Matt.6:9-13), when Jesus directs us to pray “your kingdom come”, He is including all of the above. God’s kingdom is one of peace. It’s a promise. We participate in the insurgence toward ultimate peace and fulfillment of the promise when we pray for His kingdom to advance. At news of Jesus’ earthly birth a multitude of heavenly creatures were heard to proclaim, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests”. Peace is inevitable. It’s coming. Our part involves prayer and it involves peacemaking action. Let’s be sure to be on the Victor’s side.