making peace

‘Blessed are the peacemakers

When I think of peace, I think of white doves, olive branches and conscientious objectors. Peace requires solitude, demands silence, tastes bland, and is the preserve of the feeble and naïve.

Being passionate about peace feels somewhat like an oxymoron.

Blessed are the peacemakers

Sometime this year someone said, “peace belongs more to the maternity ward than to the graveyard.”

That was the start of my thinking about peace, comprehending a peace embodied by the vigour, fury and joy of new life, and not the still grey of death.

Blessed are the peacemakers

The past few years my world has become more unsafe. I have come to learn more about the pervasive, structural violence that exists on earth, in both its intentional and casual forms.

With this, has come a greater appreciation of the strength, courage and vulnerability of those who choose to work for peace.

Blessed are the peacemakers

There are many times in Scripture where I see Jesus model a disarming (in both senses) non-violence.

I recognise a creativity and goodness in non-violent acts of resistance which really challenges me.

Blessed are the peacemakers

In particular, I am challenged on my inclination towards war and military force as ‘necessary’ and ‘pragmatic’.

I am wondering: is my support of violence only because I lack faith in the power, possibility and practice of peace?

Blessed are the peacemakers

It’s a faith that is hard to hold while watching from a distance the Turkish invasion of Syria.

And yet, there is a grief within me which believes “if guns and grenades give peace, they are a cure suffered as deeply as the disease” (Shooting Stars, Jon Sears).

Blessed are the peacemakers

As I participate in different discussions about climate policy, and contemplate the prospect of 3-4 degrees global average temperature increase, I am holding to the power, possibility and practice of peace.

Peace requires justice. And if this is so, the means of peace are attached to the ends.

Blessed are the peacemakers

I am reminded of the beautiful passage in Colossians 1 which says –

God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in [Jesus], 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

1 Comment

  1. In Dante Alighieri’s great work “The Divine Comedy” one simple phrase sums it all up.
    All the wars, conflicts, peace treaties and agreements will never be long-lasting. For only when man and woman join their hearts to God’s will, through Christ, can the peace that the world cannot give be garnered and everlasting.


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