Yesterday we learned that we can have both peace with God and the peace of God in us and with us. Both of those are really good things in our individual lives.
But what about our life with those around us – with our family, our neighbors, our community, our world? Is there any hope of peace in the larger venue of life as we know it?
Let’s see what Jesus had to say:
This text is from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, from a section of that sermon commonly known as The Beatitudes.
As we look at The Beatitudes as a whole, we see that Jesus is not just passing along some random thoughts with no connection between them. There is a progression, a development, a transformation of character in His words.
Let’s take a look at this transformation:
- Humility – being poor in spirit
- Brokenness – mourning over our sin
- Meekness – seeing ourselves as God sees us – not more, not less
- Energized – hungering and thirsting for God and His righteousness
- Merciful – awakened to the needs of others and responding to them
- Pure in heart – doing the right things, for the right reasons
- Peacemaker – offering the peace of God to those around us
Notice that Jesus says that being a peacemaker comes from our right relationship with God first, from being transformed by Him. Only then can we unconditionally offer the peace of God to our family, friends, and neighbors.
Does this mean we have to “have it all together” before God can use us as peacemakers?
No, not at all.
Jesus sees us where we are, as we are, why we are, and loves us anyway.
And as we yield our lives to Him, He begins this slow, intentional process of transformation, using us (often unbeknownst to us) to be a blessing to and a peacemaker with others. The four Gospels give us many glimpses of Jesus’ influence on His disciples – sometimes they “got it”, many times they didn’t. Jesus used everyday examples to teach them about God and about transformational living.
And that is the story of Advent – God entering His creation and showing us how to live through Jesus’ example.
Being transformed by God, and learning to share God’s peace with others,