Instruments of His peace
Karl Barth –‘hold the bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other’
“Pure religion and undefiled before God the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27
“But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream.” Amos 5:24
May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.
As a church we tend to focus on promising a hope in the life to come, but what about the life we are still living? Jesus didn’t just come to prepare us for our death, but also to teach us how to live. Jesus cared about the hurt and the brokenness in this world. He cared for the widows and orphans. He talked about unjust judges way more than He did about the afterlife. Jesus cared about Justice, in fact Jesus is justice, just like He is love. It is integral to His character.
Jesus is the Prince of Peace. He wept over Jerusalem because they didn’t know ‘the things that make for peace.’ Ironically, the world’s logic says that we must make peace, but we use violence; but Jesus defeated violence with love and peace. Peacemaking does not mean passivity. It is the act of disarming evil without harming the evil doer. Peacemaking starts with what we can change; ourselves. But it doesn’t end there, being a peacemaker also means interrupting the violence we see around us in out streets and in our worlds.
I see my Facebook flooded with pictures and outraged statuses, and we continue to chat about in our living rooms. But when will we be moved enough to actually move. When will we start becoming instruments of His peace. Because, it’s a heartbreaking fact that in the world Christians have become known more for what they are against, rather than what they are for.
We wait on God to act but God is also waiting on us. We ask God why there is so much suffering in the world but maybe God is asking us the same question.We forget that we have spent our Sunday worshipping a homeless man because we ignore him on a Monday. We are His hands and feet. We ask God to move a mountain, but God has already handed us a shovel. We need to pray and act. The world needs our protests and our prayers. The world will continue to suffer if we continue being either inactive believers or unbelieving activists. We need to pray to be people who hold God’s hand in one and our neighbour’s in the other.
We need to pray intentionally to be arrows that strike specifically, because He promised that ; ‘each man’s work will become evident’ 1 Corinthians 3:13, so let us write His promises on the walls of our hearts and pray that He reveals to us His perfect preplanned work for us. Maybe we can’t build a wall, but when each brings his brick, brick by brick,the wall will be built.
“C.S. Lewis wrote: We must picture hell as a state where everyone is perpetually concerned about his own dignity and advancement, where everyone has a grievance, and where everyone lives with the deadly serious passions of envy, self-importance, and resentment.”
Who, in the midst of the preoccupation of hell, would have the energy and generosity for the larger battles? What might it mean if we resolved to abandon every petty, small, and unworthy battle this year? What if we resolved to give ourselves fully to larger things that matter, to things of God and his kingdom? In fact, in a world of so much acute suffering, hurt and need, for what purpose have you and I been granted so much?” Gary Haugen
“Blessed are they who maintain justice, who constantly do what is right.” Psalm 106:3
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9
God please comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. Let us be disturbed to the point where we cannot accept serving at a distance but that we become active about making a difference.