Friday, October 31, 2014

Blessed are the peacemakers

The problem with this beatitude is that we sometimes think peacemaking is about making things look good -- plastering over cracks and avoiding conflict. Instead of peacemaking, this is called peace-faking. How can you tell the difference between a peacemaker and a peace-faker? In Jesus' words, "by their fruits ye shall know them." For peace-fakers, truth is just delicate embroidery on the outer edge of daily life. Rather than exposing mistakes, peace-fakers conceal them. They pacify where they should challenge. They forgive cowardice which shrinks from exposing evil and condone ignorance which refuses to acknowledge mistakes. By comparison, peacemakers have a calculated recklessness in their commitment to truth. They kiss the cross of confrontation with evil, unavoidable suffering, and ultimate victory.

It's common to think of peacemakers as mediators who bring reconciliation between persons and groups. But this is only the beginning. The vexing conflicts that perplex our day; the rankling strife that sets man so far apart; the monumental problems broadcast on the news can all be resolved in a peaceful heart. A peacemaker might put it this way:

"The mighty drama we see acted here, with crime and greed and nations much afraid, is but a shifting background atmosphere in which the plot of human life is played. A simple role is ours on this vast stage. Our lines are few; our cue is from above. But all our deeds climactically presage the grand conclusion of triumphant love. Our part well-played, the ages will applaud, and peacemakers be called the sons of God."

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