Holy Resistance: Day 5

Peacemaking

Everybody wants to be a peacekeeper, yet no one knows what it takes to make the peace. 

It begins with internal identity and then moves to external emulation of our Father. 

Jesus is in a downright argument with the Pharisees in John 8. He observes their lies and double talk and says “You think your father in Abraham but in truth you are of your father the devil because you are emulating him more than Abraham.” 

When it comes to bloodlines, Jesus flips the script and wants to talk about family in terms of “spirit lines” when he says, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called Children of God.” When we make peace we are like our Father in heaven who made peace through his cross. It comes with suffering and sadness. Yet it also is full of hope and resurrection. How can you co-labor with Christ today to make peace and not just keep the absence of conflict?

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

– Matthew 5:3-9

Repent

Divisiveness

Lord, I have given up my pride
    and turned away from my arrogance.
I am not concerned with great matters
    or with subjects too difficult for me.
Instead, I am content and at peace.
As a child lies quietly in its mother’s arms,
    so my heart is quiet within me.
Israel, trust in the Lord
    now and forever!

– Psalm 131

The children of God are to be peacemakers, and yet we find ourselves thrown back and forth amidst a cacophony of divisiveness. Where have you added to these divisions?  Where do you need to give up your pride, that you may be content and at peace in the arms of the Father?  May that be the foundation from which we love and lead others into peace.

Redeem

Silence – Did you have a parent or a spouse that would give you the cold shoulder of silence? What about the term “she was giving me the silent treatment.” This implies a level of conflict and need for peace. 

Yet, there is another kind of silence found in the home and hearts of lovers in relationship that doesn’t need noise or words to communicate. This happens not just in marriage, but also in all of our relationships where we are safe, vulnerable, and loved. With God, you are safe, he is vulnerable, and you are loved. 

Practice silence, the first language of God. 

Restore

Contentment – Holy Resistance can only come with a Holy Contentment. In creation we see God laboring and then resting. Setting things in order to make them good, and then stepping back to rest. Contentment can only come after the work. Rest after the making. When it comes to peacemaking, may you be content in God’s power to see you through your work. You cannot do it on your own but through his Spirit you will do what is necessary. So rest in that. Rest in him. 

Go outside and observe God’s beautiful creation. Consider how God sustains and provides for all of creation. Thank God for making you a masterpiece. 

Lament

Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

– Romans 12:17-21

Hope

25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

John 14: 25-27

Fast

All News and Media Sources  – Just turn it off. The world will not fall apart if you don’t watch the news today, and even if it does fall apart today I’m sure a very kind neighbor will come and inform you. 

Turn rather to prayer, scripture writing, and rest. Take longer walks and avoid the websites that draw you into the media storm.

Song

Prayer

Heavenly Father, we have celebrated the advent of the Prince of Peace, but in recent days we’ve felt and seen so little peace in our world and even in our own hearts. The images and voices we see on TV and the Internet break our hearts. Even more, our own reactions, thoughts, and words have laid bare the hostility in our hearts. How we long for the peace of Christ!

Lord, we confess the pride, fear, and desire for control that resists your explicit call to the path of peace. Forgive us our words and deeds that have contributed to the hostility and violence plaguing our world. Forgive us also the apathy that is content to ignore or avoid the hostility and injustice around us.

Father, renew our trust and dependence on you, that your peace would reign in our spirits, minds, and bodies. May this peace within overflow into peace without, with our families, relationships, workplaces, communities, and our enemies. May you empower us to be peacemakers, upholding the image of God in one another, not by ignoring and overlooking differences, but by uniting those differences in the person of Jesus Christ, who alone has reconciled all things through his death and resurrection.

King of Peace, in the midst of a fractured world, we trust your promise of peace and we fix our eyes on your eternal kingdom which cannot pass away. Even so, may your kingdom come and your will be done here, Lord, as in heaven. Amen.