Sunday, 28 September 2008

For Peace Sake: Building Bridges

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Matthew 5:9)

No man is an island, but sometimes we are isolated through ignorance, misunderstanding, fear, pain, pride and prejudice. One way of making sure that each person stay’s in touch with the mainland of the community of humanity is to build bridges with those who are adrift. It may cost in terms of time, vulnerability and rejection. The benefits, however, far outweigh the cost – the joy of seeing people build deeper sacrificial relationships; the shared pursuit of justice and fairness for all and the hope in seeing what’s right done through all the earth.

This post was sent out on Wednesday 24th September.

Among the whole armour of God are these – shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace (Eph. 6:15). Peacemakers imply that there’s some activity that we are engaged with that constructs something. In this case it is not peace itself that we’re constructing – that has already been done in Christ. What we are constructing however, or highlight, is the path to peace. That’s why the peacemakers in this sense is more than just people who are able to stop arguments. Blessed as that is, when the resolution leads to building bridges from which people can cross from darkness to light, ignorance to understanding, hostility to hospitality and death to life then not only have we stopped something, but we have initiated something wonderful. We may have gained a brother/sister in the community of grace. We may have seen a life headed for mindless ruin transformed by the love of Christ into something so much greater.

As I understand only too painfully that means we have to be prepared to engage with others and reach out to those who are in the darkness – those who have been ravaged by the issues of life and would want to remain in the gutter. This is not just those who fall easily into that category, this is the whole of humanity unconnected to Christ and unaware of the gospel that He has made peace and indeed because of that He is our peace (see Ephesians 2:14-21 for more). This has glorious implications for building true multi-cultural community and for people to belong to something greater than themselves that enriches all of its constituents as recipients and channels of sacrificial love following the example of the greatest peacemaker and bridge-maker of them all.

For His Name’s Sake
da man cd

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