Peacemakers, make peace

It’s been a wearisome few days. Hard to get a full night’s sleep. Heartache. Headache. Not many words to say. The police officers in Dallas showed full integrity in their vocation in the face of tragedy (see yesterday’s post). 
Yet, it’s another day. I must get out of this bed. I have a lunch appointment. But first another challenge to myself:

Prayer without action is ineffective prayer.
This is what God says:

“If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it? In the same way faith, if it doesn’t have works, is dead by itself.” – Holy Scripture, James chapter 2

It is right to ask/pray/think/desire peace and healing in our families, cities and world. 
A true prayer for peace results in change. 

A change to stop the turmoil. To prevent further violence. To bring understanding. To unite and heal our community. To keep our families safe. To change systemic injustice. To alleviate generational poverty. To provide access to education and healthcare. To provide avenues to create wealth. 
Yet when our voice calls for change, the first ears to hear must be our own. 
Uh-oh. You mean I might have to be part of the process? 
Yes. Peace comes through peacemakers. 

The one who sees turmoil and offers prayers/thoughts/desires for peace, yet does nothing, has dead faith. It is an ineffective prayer/thought/desire. 
Living faith breeds action. 

Action proves living faith. 

What does peacemaking look like for you? Only you know and God know your heart. 
Maybe it’s time to finally pursue that diplomat position to help countries negotiate. Maybe it’s time to start that NGO to help alleviate poverty and suffering. Maybe it’s time to build that health clinic or school. Maybe it’s time to engineer designs for better farming and more effective food distribution. Maybe it’s time to join a demonstration. Maybe it’s time to fight for integrity in your vocation. Maybe it’s time to offer a smile and handshake to a colleague or to someone who represents a segment of the population you scorn. Maybe it’s time to finally meet the neighbour. Maybe it’s time to offer “Welcome” to a refugee trying to establish a new life in a new culture. 

These are some ways to answer the prayer for peace. 
Maybe you’re upset and thinking “God is powerful enough to bring peace without me! Let’s not forget that God is God!”
Yes, as the Maker of all things, God All Powerful. 
However, God does not sprinkle fairy dust upon the Earth to bring about peace. God uses peacemakers to bring peace. They are blessed and called children of God. 
Our cities will not magically change apart from people. Spiritual change occurs in people. And people build cities. People are responsible for the life or death of their city. I am challenged to reflect on how I contribute to the flourishing of my city. I am challenged to ask if I am spiritually awakened and matured by God to be a wise peacemaker. 
Jesus said the Church is the salt of the Earth and the light of the world. 
Faith without works is simply dead faith. 

The thought of wanting peace without the willingness to make peace is an empty and vain thought.

— Christ, when I asked You to bring peace, I asked in the hopes that You would do it quietly, without interrupting my life and status quo. While turmoil occurred around me, I had hoped I could avoid being inconvenienced and keep the plans I made for myself. But what an invasive surprise You are! I asked You to bring peace and You told me to go make it in my home, community, city, and world.

You gave us peace when You gave Yourself. Now in Your peace we peacemakers go. Christ, have mercy.

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