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    ‘Blessed are the peacemakers’ ….. but how? 

    ‘Blessed are the peacemakers’ ….. but how?

    ‘Blessed are the peacemakers,’ said Jesus.  But it seems impossible – how do we make peace in daily life?  If we take Jesus at His word, we are called to be peacemakers, to pray and act so that peace comes in our families, our neighbourhoods and even in war zones across our world.  How can we start?  Because if we cannot start in our own families and neighbourhoods we have nothing to say in war zones.

    We grow up with the expectation that if children fall out and fight then a parent or carer will sort out what they cannot. Or a teacher might intervene in a fight between school pupils. It seems very natural, but the logic really breaks down if the carer stops a fight by saying “Stop it now or I’ll smack you both!”   Even without that extreme of using physical punishment to stop physical violence, is it really logical to impose peace?  The saying goes ‘you cannot fight fire with fire.’  It seems laughable really that a fire can be put out by adding to it!

    Jesus demonstrated the importance of living in the opposite spirit and not being drawn into resisting force with force.  He taught that it is not the externals that make us holy or unholy.  Instead you can know a tree by its fruit (Matt 7:15-20; 12:33-37) and it is what comes out of the heart that defiles us (Matthew 15:11).

    So what really matters is not the words we might use or even the expressions and smiles but the state of our own hearts.  If we are at peace with God and enjoying His love, praying as we go, we can walk into the most tense situations and change the atmosphere, even without words.

    [peace]

    The link below is to a clip from a CNN news broadcast a few years ago, reporting the remarkable way a fellow traveller on the underground stopped a fight by eating potato crisps (it was in New York so they are ‘potato chips’ of course!).  The commentators bring out the fact that doing something neutral and completely different enabled the protagonists to see things differently.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hR5cfTVkf-0

    The famous prayer of St Francis begins ‘Make me a channel of your peace…’ and is well worth using as a basis for prayer, that we will be ready to bring peace in very down to earth, creative ways as we live life noticing people and listening to the leading of the Holy Spirit.   It has been turned into a song……

    Make me a channel of your peace.

    Where there is hatred let me bring your love.

    Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord

    And where there’s doubt, true faith in you.

                                  Oh, Master grant that I may never seek

                                  So much to be consoled as to console 

                                  To be understood as to understand 

                                  To be loved as to love with all my soul. 


    Make me a channel of your peace

    Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope

    Where there is darkness, only light

    And where there’s sadness, ever joy.

                                  Chorus

    Make me a channel of your peace

    It is in pardoning that we are pardoned

    In giving to all men that we receive

    And in dying that we’re born to eternal life.

                                  Chorus

    Amen!

    Chris Horton 

    Chris Horton, 18/03/2017