Saturday, September 3, 2016

Nothing less than the Cross

Photo from The Dwelling Place blog
‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God’ (Matthew 5:9), a saying of Christ we all know by heart and give lip service to, but if it comes right down to it, none of us really wants to be that blessed, though we’d love to be called ‘sons of God’ as long as it required nothing more of us than to say, ‘Jesus is Lord!’ We don’t reflect on that fact that the only One who really was ‘Son of God’ by nature and not merely by name, was a peacemaker, in fact the ultimate peacemaker, for He makes peace between God and man, and between man and men—if we let Him.

Yes, I know He also says, ‘Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword’ (Matthew 10:34), and I think I know why He says it. If we follow Him, if we do what we see Him doing, say what we hear Him saying, yes, if we decide once and for all that we want to be peacemakers, we will be cut off from the bulk of humanity, yes, cut off, with a sword that will not be put away from us until we surrender.

We work for peace, yet we are denied peace. It is when we work for war, between people, between nations, that we are approved—not by God, of course, but by man.

No, there will always be people who say they want peace, and some of them may even give those who do work for peace a nod of approval, but they do not lift a finger to help. Peace is too threatening, because in that environment, our every failing is laid open to the eyes of all, and we would rather not be discovered. In war all crimes can be hidden, even ours, and so war is what we wage with our tongues and sometimes our bodies, the better to hide what we are, and what we have chosen.

When you choose to be a peacemaker, the world no longer looks the same. You can see ‘the sin of the world’ in a way you could not before, in the world, and in yourself. It is an awakening, but one without worldly glory. To work for peace does confer enlightenment, but not of religion. It is the enlightenment of Christ, which He shares willingly with you, to see whether or not you will accept it. And why wouldn't you? Because it is nothing less than the Cross.

‘He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near’ (Ephesians 2:14). ‘For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, 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’ (Colossians 1:19-20).

Yes, ‘blessed are the peacemakers, 
                          for they shall be called sons of God.’

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