“And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
I’ve been thinking about what it means to make peace in these tender and tense days. Why is it so important to God that his people put their shoulders to the plow and sow peace on earth? Here are a few questions I’m asking myself as I pray for God’s heart and help.
- Do I really want God’s will (shalom) done on earth as it is in heaven? Or do I want the short-lived peace that comes from winning the argument; the day; the battle; the cause?
- Do I really want to to extend shalom to my enemy? Or do I dream to see him defeated and humiliated, with my own boot triumphant on his neck? Would I be pleased to see those who mock my values and ideas brought low and put to shame?
- Do I really want to pursue peace with my sister? Or do the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart suggest otherwise? Are my thoughts pleasing to a God whose property is always to have mercy?
- Do I really want to forge peace with my brother? Am I willing to forgive the injustice I’ve endured at his hand, the betrayal and shame, the lack of concern for where I’ve been so grievously wounded?
Because the gospel insists, emphatically, that splinters from a heavy cross of shame and injustice punctured the tender back of God himself. Am I willing to follow my king in sowing this kind of upside-down peace?
The world is splintered and raw and cunning and loud. But God gives the hard-won peace of Christ to those with gentle and contrite hearts. Why? So that the meek might bring his joy far as the curse is found.
As children of God we may come to our Father each day to examine ourselves honestly before his compassionate gaze. We can express our white-hot anger, unburden our grief, and receive his ready forgiveness. And then we can release our brother and sisters; friends and foes, and even those who have hurt and betrayed us most, to the perfect justice and wisdom of God.
For it is the spirit of a risen Christ who now strides through the earth setting wrong to right. Will we follow? It is the God who forgives and restores who is now making all things well. Will we join him? He will keep you secure. He will not let your foot be moved, even as painful splinters wound your own tender back.
Peace to you today, for the war has already been won! You are God’s harvest of righteousness. You are his healing, hope, rest and peace to the weary world in these most tender and tense of days.
And know this: The Prince of Peace is shoulder-to-shoulder with you at the plow. For he is not ashamed to be called your God as you make peace. He will tend, protect, and mulitply all that is sown in love with him.