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Daily Devotionals

Day 85 – Issue 37

todayMay 1, 2015 9

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Be Still Know

READ: Matthew 5.9 NLT

‘God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.’

In this Beatitude Jesus isn’t talking about being peace- lovers but peace-makers, and that’s something very different. A peace-lover will often do anything to avoid conflict, and will even allow bad behaviour to continue because of the desire to “keep the peace”. Sadly, that kind of attitude does nothing to bring healing to the situation and can easily lead to the situation becoming far worse. Peace-making is the tough task of not turning away from conflict but, in the name of Christ, deliberately facing it and seeking to bring his miraculous gift of peace. Robert V. Taylor, the President of the Desmond Tutu Foundation, wrote, “If you want peace, don’t talk to your friends, talk to your enemies.”

I suspect we all dislike conflict. We hate it when voices are raised, and people storm out of meetings or there is antagonism in relationships. It’s exhausting, discouraging and sad. But it’s also very common, and always has been. That’s precisely why Jesus recruited followers 2,000 years ago and still does. He needs you and me to get to know him well enough to have the courage to walk towards conflicts and not away from them. If we always run away from places of anger and brokenness we will never be able to make Jesus’ offer of peace and we will deny ourselves the joy of seeing people find unity and a new future.

Northern Ireland has seen decades of sectarian violence. The relative peace that is being enjoyed these days didn’t just happen, but was the result of godly peace-makers getting to work. It was tough, protracted and exhausting work but we rightly honour those who had the guts to walk towards the conflict to bring peace. In 1995 John Hume, the leader of the SDLP, said, “As everybody knows, the patience, skill and determination shown by clergy has been nothing less than indispensable in bringing about the peace we
now enjoy. I can say that without them, the present hopeful situation would not and could not have come about.” The situations of conflict that we face may seem very minor by comparison, but they equally call us to take the tough path of peace-making for Christ’s sake.

QUESTIONS: Where is God calling you to be a peace-maker at the moment?

PRAYER: Loving God, thank you for your gift of peace. Give me renewed determination to bring your peace wherever I go. Amen

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Written by: Miriam Emenike

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