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Friday, 6 December 2013

Blessed are those who work for peace Matt 5:9

How apt that this verse is my meditation for today, the day when Nelson Mandela died. 

"No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more  naturally to the human heart than its opposite." Nelson Mandela RIP. 

This great man understood that we must strive to teach love where there is conflict so that peace can be the champion of our soul, heart and ultimately our life. If we are at peace with those around us and can accept their differences then they will learn from our conviction that everyone is worth loving. When we shake hands with our enemies we start the process of healing, rebuilding and overcoming prejudice. That starts with us and the ripple effect that occurs through our families and friends, strangers and haters will change our society.

The true grounding for this work of peace is God. God is Love therefore he is the source of peace as in him there is no conflict. Three persons in one, in unity with the Greater Glory. God is our example. He is our Peace. 

Blessed are those who work for Peace. 

The work of peace begins with ourselves, if we are in conflict then we are unable to portray unity. Take the example of a family. My family has five members, two adults and three children, each with their own likes, dislikes, talents and stumbles, calm and explosive personalities, laid back and stressed. All are required to work for peace in their environment. Well you can imagine what happens. A word out of place, a joke taken the wrong way, teasing gone too far, jealousy over a gift, a good dead that goes wrong or is interpreted with an ulterior motive, that last word that must be the ultimate one, strong convictions and half hearted don't knows, shy and gregarious, I wants and it's alright it doesn't matter, the list is endless because of the characters. So the peace is broken and there is the silent treatment or rage erupts like a volcano. And this is only on a family level, the world wide level is pronominal! 

This why it is important to look to the Prince of Peace and pray for His help. If we cant manage to work for peace and to live together peaceably in the family, where it is safe to explore our emotions and thoughts, then going out into the world and expecting peace to flow like a river in the corrupt and war zones of human nature that have been damaged by the disease of hate no matter it roots, is like trying to throw a bucket of water in a volcano and expecting it to cease its outbursts. 

That is why our work for peace needs to be firmly embedded in Christ. If we teach love, forgiveness, and tolerance in the smallest environment called family, we will be better equipped to share it with others. Sometimes family is not the best place to learn it from, especially when it is full of hurt and disrespect for another person's mental, physical or sexual nature. That hurt can only be enfolded in love when the person leaves that situation and seeks in time healing and acceptance from the True Source of Peace and Love - God. And that is not an easy journey and I admire those people who are on that path and also those who work for the peace of those troubled souls.  

Blessed are those who work for peace for they will be called the children of God. 

Are we children of God? 

Colossians 4:13-15

"Make allowances for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace and always be thankful."

The last two words 'be thankful' have been the key for me in breaking through the battles that happen on a daily basis. When one of the family is unkind or provocative, I say quietly 'thank you Lord for (name) and bless them because you loved them first'. By thanking God for one of my off-springs,  husband or myself when things are not peaceful I am asking God to intervene in a place I am not able to. This gives the glory to God, he has the victory and not the sin. This is what he calls us to do in the next verse of Colossians:

Colossians 4:16-17

"Let the  message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

Blessed are those who work for peace for they will be called the children of God. 

Bless you all
Margaret