WEEK 5, DAY 32: PEACEMAKING
Scripture Reference: Luke 16:1-15
They sized up one another as they stood in the middle of the room. Silence fell on the crowd as step by step they got closer and closer, meeting nose to nose with fire in their eyes. No words were spoken or needed to be. In this modern twist of Euodia and Syntyche, there was going to be a showdown right here in the middle of our 3 & 4 Year Old Sunday School Class. Something had disturbed the peace between these two girls and they spent the rest of class just fuming at one another.
The following week, they walked in hand and hand. When we asked what changed, they just looked at one another, then back at us and together sweetly chimed, “We decided to be friends!”
BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS
Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” One of the marks of belonging to the Kingdom of God is an active pursuit of making peace. This starts within ourselves, and then expanding it to the world around us. And while it seems like an impossible task, there are steps we can take, as God’s dearly loved children, to make that happen. Believe it or not, it all starts with worship.
I learned first of Euodia and Syntyche in The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict. In it Ken Sande challenges us to look through biblical conflict to find peace in our own. These influential women in the Philippian church were in a “family feud,” so to speak. Paul begged them to resolve their conflict for the sake of a watching world. In Paul’s words to these women, we find some clues for peacemaking.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. —Philippians 4:4-7
Do you hear that, right at the beginning? And just so we don’t read right past it, Paul says it twice. REJOICE. That’s right. Before, we go in and make sure everyone knows what everyone has done to break the peace, we are called to rightly find our joy in all God is and was and will be. Worshiping first helps heal us from the inside out and transforms how we deal with one another.
We have the great choice to do this! Choosing not to worry, but rather coming to God with thanksgiving and handing our heartbreaks over to God, time and time again, is the key to the peace God offers. Deciding to steward the hearts of those around us instead of demanding retribution for every slight is one of the most powerful things we can do. Remembering we are all members of one Body with Christ as our head drives us to the unity found in peacemaking.
—Martha Christian, SOKY Worship
TIME TO CONTEMPLATE:
- Consider a place of conflict in your current situation. Start praying with thanksgiving for the person that comes to mind. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead your next steps.
- Memorize Philippians 4:4-7 and put it into practice.
Lord, Creator and Sustainer of all that ever will be and yet the One who walks with me. How grateful I am for everything You are! How thankful I am for your promise to know me and care for me and provide all I need. Show me the ways I forget that and rely on others to do what only You can do. Help me to discover your peace in my own life and make peace in the relationships I have with others for the sake of Your Name and the Kingdom of God. Amen