“Blessings on the peacemakers! You’ll be called God’s children.”
I’ve been thinking recently about this statement of Jesus’. “Blessings on the peacemakers.”
Jesus also said that some other folks were blessed, too. The poor. The hungry. Those who mourn. The pure in heart. The meek. The persecuted.
Some of these groups are easy to identify. We could go for a stroll through downtown Barrie and meet the poor and hungry quite easily. It wouldn’t take long, I’m sure, for us to find someone grieving. And we’ve heard many stories of people being persecuted for standing up for what is right.
But peacemakers. Who are they? Where do they live? What do they look like?
I’m convinced that reconciliation and peacemaking are essential elements of the mission of the church. But I realise I know little about the practicalities of peacemaking. Who should my role models be? Who are the people that are actively bringing about reconciliation between groups in conflict? Between Palestinian and Israeli, between rich and poor, between labour and management? Between landlord and tenant, between conservative and liberal, between Catholic and Protestant? Between Pakistan and India, between Sunni and Shiite, between oil company and environmentalist?
Who are the people that stand in the gap, that refuse to accept the inevitability of conflict, that believe and hope and work towards just and equitable resolutions?
Who are the peacemakers?