From the Pastor’s Desk: July 14, 2022

FUMC AlvordChurch News & Events, Pastor's Blog

From the Pastor's Desk
Carol Sparks

“God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9

In this verse, Jesus says that “those who work for peace” (literally, “the peace-doers”) are blessed. What does he mean?

When we think of making peace, we envision a conflict that needs to be resolved, either on a national scale or in relationships. Working for peace surely involves an effort to reduce conflict among peoples, whether they be nations, ethnicities, classes, religious groups, friends, colleagues, or family members. Wherever we find ourselves, we should seek to end conflicts of all kinds.

But the biblical notion of peace, shalom in the Old Testament, includes far more than resolving conflict. It is a positive concept that draws together ideas of justice and righteousness. If an evil tyrant imposes an unjust society upon people, this is not peaceful from a biblical perspective, even if there is no open revolt against his rule. Similarly, when it comes to personal relationships, peace includes health, intimacy, and mutual respect. Shalom is to work until the blessing of peace is realized.

You and I may have relatively little ability to be peacemakers in the larger world. But, as followers of Jesus, we have every opportunity and responsibility to work for genuine, expansive peace in our part of the world: at work, in our relationships, at home, and in church.

Rev. Carol D. Sparks
Hate Hurts. Grace Heals. Love Wins!