PEACEMAKING is more than just saying “The peace of Christ be with you” in the passing of the peace at church. It involves a commitment to see the divine in each person and to behave in such a way that others discover their own holiness. I realize experiencing the world in a peaceful manner is challenging in our time of political and cultural polarization. It is difficult for me to see God’s presence in neo-Nazi marchers, white supremacists, and political leaders who intentionally fan the flames of polarization and division. I am tempted to see them as lost causes, unworthy of my respect. Yet beneath the bloviating politician is a child of God. Hidden in the neo-Nazi is the face of Jesus. Recognizing the holiness hidden in those whose politics or behavior I find repugnant does not require me to agree with their policies or beliefs, but it does invite me to respond to them in ways that bring reconciliation and peace, whenever possible.
—Bruce G. Epperly, The Mystic in You: Discovering a God-Filled World (Upper Room Books, 2018)
Does being a peacemaker mean staying silent at all times? When might a peacemaker speak out? Share your thoughts.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
—Matthew 5:9 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Peace Prayer of Saint Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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