Friday, 12 September 2008

Peace Plant

When peacemakers plant seeds of peace, they will harvest justice. (James 3:18)

The principles of nature can apply to human relationship. There’s no point planting an apple seed if you want oranges. Likewise it makes no sense grumbling and complaining about how wrong the world is, when we’re not planting the seeds to bring about the things that are right. As we spend time planting peace seeds of friendliness and gentleness we can look forward to the harvest of fairness.

I was looking at James 3:15-18 and reading Jimmy’s strong words that basically calls us to wake up and smell the coffee in terms of where we think we’re getting our wisdom from. Sometimes the power of these words are diluted by cultural sensitivities. Sometimes we want to modify and accommodate these words into something that is relatively harmless to others. The reality is however that the mainstream does not endorse, promote or support heavenly wisdom. That’s why it’s no surprise that we live in such a fractured, painful world because all humanity has ever perpetuated is fractured, painful choices through selfish ambition. Face it – your parents may not have done all they could to ensure their children were Kingdom-focussed offspring looking for how to plant peace.

More often than not generations and cultures have embedded in them selfish ambition either through conquest or through keeping oneself to oneself. We are told to look after number one. We are encouraged to get all we can and can all we get. We are told to do whatever we can for ourselves because we are worth it and deserve our best lives now even if it prioritises the self over all else. Indeed biblical narrative highlights the cycle of material prosperity leading to independence and on the other hand in some cases material lack leading to a great deal of covetousness to and aspiration to material prosperity that would then lead to that state of independence. God’s purpose in any kind of prosperity was never for independence but for a stronger sense of concern and investment in interdependence with all levels of the community around us. That’s why the call to be peacemakers and behaving in ways that are pleasing to God are necessarily costly to us – calling indeed for self-sacrifice in order to replicate the very character of the Saviour as we shall see later.

Meanwhile I encourage you to observe for yourself the values and norms of your own surroundings and notice if it is really based on sowing the seeds of peace or otherwise and ask God to empower you again to do what is necessary to see justice in individual and communal relations for Christ’s sake.

For His Name’s Sake
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