Tag Archives: peacemaker

We Are One Month In to 2022 – The Word of the Month

January is coming to an end. And what a January. As I evaluate the first part of 2022, the key word I see is ‘warfare’. 

The obvious connection is Physical War: Ukraine. Europe is on a very dangerous precipice overlooking a dark valley.  But not just Ukraine. China and Taiwan, Iran and Israel, North Korea and everyone … Border Wars: Texas and the southern border, Canada and the truckers and the Prime Minister, Europe, Asia, everywhere … Political Wars: reds vs. blues, moderates vs. progressives … Economic Wars: where so many battle for limited resources, the have vs the have nots … Cop Wars: shootings by cops and of cops, DAs vs the Blue … Culture Wars: the woke (like Hollywood and the media and activists) trying to change those with traditional values, schools taking on parents, urban taking on rural … and so on. 

Warfare.

People battle on social media. People battle in the homes. People battle in the schools, the town hall, and the marketplace. Youtube banning those they disagree with. FaceBook has a jail. Artists refusing to share public forums with those they don’t like. Even Christian platforms are being filled with disharmony and antagonistic verbiage. 

Warfare is more than guns and planes. It’s hearts and minds and attitudes and words. It’s damaging to countries, homes, relationships, lives. Some may think they are victorious and over-comers; but in the end, the cost is high.

Maybe that’s why Jesus challenged us all with His upside-down way of looking at life. The Beatitudes are a topsy turvy way of living. 

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

Matthew 5:9 (esv)

As we move deeper into 2022, maybe the second month can change. What would it be like if we took the word ‘peacemaker’ as our mantra? A month where we take on the characteristics of our Savior. He is the Prince of Peace – the one who brings peace on earth – the one who reconciles the world to Him. He brings peace with God … and … peace of God. WOW!

Maybe if we saw people … as those who are broken, just like we ourselves are broken … as those who are hurting, just like we hurt and need our wounds bound … as those who have a slanted view of a fallen world, like we without Christ have a slanted view of this fallen world.

If we saw people, people whom God loves, people whom Jesus came to die for, people who need Him … Maybe we wouldn’t talk warfare, we would talk peace making.

So …

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you

Push for Peace – love them the way God loves them, sacrificially

Pray for Peace – global and personal and, even, for your enemies

Put Bridges Up for Peace – prioritize building bridges and not walls

Put God First – if you do this, warfare may truly be replaced by peacemaking

What a February that would be. What a world that would be!

What will you do in February? What will you do today?

I am Hurting

It is physical … I am physically sore. I hiked a bit Tuesday (Mount Pleasant in George Washington and Thomas Jefferson National Forest). My calves burn, my knee is bruised (fell on a rock), and my left ankle is sore. Yeah, I know, stop whining Todd. Alas, there is more. My lungs hurt. But that is from cleaning the church’s sheds yesterday. I starting gagging pretty bad from the nasty stuff I breathed in … pretty stank.

But I will get over these. Bruises will fade. Muscle pains will ease. And my gagging will eventually stop.

But I am still hurting.

It is emotional … last night, while in a Young Life info meeting, I received a text that a young lady died in an auto accident. I really didn’t know the young lady (in her 20s), she was a relative of one of our church family. She did attend my church years ago; but like many, her attendance waned and she didn’t attend anywhere. Life hadn’t been easy for her.

So I went to the grandmother’s house. Tried to bring a little comfort in the dark time of pain and chaos. I prayed with the grandmother, the father, and the collection of relatives gathered.

I hurt for them. I also hurt for the first responders that dealt with the accident. Many of the first responders attend my church. My heart is heavy for all they voluntarily put themselves through. The anguish, the mayhem, and even the deaths. Stress and anxiety wears on them.

But in talking with some at the grandmothers, and others via text or phone, I learned a twist to this narrative. I understand that the young lady attended our church this past weekend.

She spent her last Sunday in worship at our church. As I reflect on that, I examine the music we sang, the prayers that were lifted, and the message from the Word I shared. How welcoming were we to her? What was the atmosphere? Did we direct her, and every other person who attended, to before the throne of God? Prompting them to make sure their relationship with God was at peace, their eternity secure, and their life ready for anything that might come their way?

We often use the mentality that God never promised us another day, that someone in the room may not be here next week. But do we truly believe that?

But I am still hurting.

It is relational …One thing I did challenge the worshippers was to think of one person … one person whom God was laying on their heart … one person they need to be a peacemaker to this week. God desires, and blesses us, as we seek to be peacemakers.

Is there a person you need to seek out? A person with whom you need to restore a relationship? A person struggling and for whom you need to be the instrument of God’s peace?

I hurt because I exercised, worked, and more. I hurt because my heat is broken for families and individuals that are struggling from loss and pain. I hurt because I too have relationships I need to work on. But I worship the God who is bigger than my pains … and a God who tells me to cast my cares upon Him, for He cares for me.

He cares for you too. Do you know Him? If you don’t know Him, don’t let today go by. Reach out to someone …. today. We don’t know what tomorrow hold.