“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matt.5:9)
Last night I had the privilege of being a part of a candlelight vigil to honor those who suffered as victims of violent crimes. I am so thankful for those who had the foresight to start this a few years ago. This annual event provides a forum for so many who are still struggling through the loss of a loved one because of an act of senseless violence. Last night made me realize just how desperately our world needs more peacemakers. Jesus did not pronounce a blessing upon those who desire peace nor upon those who love peace (though I hope both are true of us). Jesus stated that the blessing belongs to those who are willing to make peace. Such requires effort, compassion, and even risk-taking at times. There are so many in our communities who are suffering in silence, who have no one to speak up for them or defend them. Those who have been the victims of violence need those who will seek justice for the wrongs they have endured. But the world needs grace, mercy, longsuffering, and forgiveness so that perhaps the violence can be averted. Let us strive to be those who make peace, and in so doing may we bring blessings to those whose lives are in turmoil and upheaval.
“Father, thank you for granting us a peace that passes all understanding through Jesus. Help us to desire that others come to know the peace that only you can give, and help us seek to lead them to you. Help us to be peacemakers. Help us to be like Jesus. In his name. Amen.”