Rev. Lawrence W. Rodgers

Loving Mercy, Doing Justice, Walking Humbly with God

Revolutionary Peacemaking: Aligning with God's Mission of Peace


By: Pastor Lawrence W. Rodgers


Hello friends, today in this devotional I would like to share a thought that's been marinating in my mind for a while - "Revolutionary Peacemaking." As we sift through the teachings of Jesus Christ, particularly the Beatitudes in Matthew chapter 5, we find profound truths about being blessed. One of these truths that shines bright is the notion of peacemaking, with a beautiful promise attached: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”

Observing the transformative essence of peacemaking against the harsh reality of widespread violence can be a bit disheartening. Imagine the leaps we could make in alleviating poverty, curing diseases, and wiping out hunger if only the massive resources used for conflict were redirected to these noble causes. It's almost like opening a door to an era where humanity flourishes like never before.

The Essence of Peacemaking:
This beatitude throws an invitation our way to align with God’s essence, fostering peace and embodying the divine intent where peace is a living, breathing reality, not just a distant dream. It challenges us to envision a world where love overcomes hatred and peace silences violence.

A Paradigm Shift:
Transitioning from a culture steeped in violence to one of revolutionary peacemaking is akin to heeding a divine call to align with God's essence. By embracing the cause of peacemaking, we transcend earthly discord, aligning with the celestial mission of nurturing peace, thus earning the blessed title of 'children of God,' akin to the Prince of Peace.

A Revolutionary Vision:
Picture a world where resources that fuel conflict now heal, nourish, and shelter. It’s a vision that births a reality where divine peacemaking comes alive in tangible acts of love, compassion, and restoration.

Aligning with the Divine:
Peacemaking is like accepting an invite to share in the divine nature, reflecting God's heart in our actions, choices, and endeavors. It's about living a life that encourages community growth and righteous relationships, echoing the very heart of God.

Understanding Shalom:
Shalom, which is often translated as peace, carries a rich meaning of harmony, completeness, prosperity, and welfare, going beyond just the absence of discord. Unlike the oppressive peace of Pax Romana (Peace of Rome) that is hypocritical and biased to those who are in power yet violent to those at bottom, the Shalom of God seeks the well-being of all, no matter their social or economic standing.

The Challenge of Revolutionary Peacemaking:
Our journey towards revolutionary peacemaking compels us to oppose oppression, support the marginalized, and strive for a world where peace is a shared heritage.

Three Types of Violence:
Violence manifests in various forms: it germinates in the mind, finds expression through the tongue, and culminates in actions of the hand. As shown in scriptures, we're called to renew our minds, tame our tongues, and hold our hands even when faced with adversity, following Jesus' example by not allowing the threat of ever violence to neutralize us in the pursuit of being peacemakers.

Martyrs of Faith:
The lives of Christian martyrs such as Stephen, whose defense of his faith in the Prince of Peace and criticism of the authorities of the time led to his being stoned to death, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose peacemaking stance against the Vietnam War, many scholars and historians believe, led to his death, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, whose peacemaking stance against Hitler and Nazi Germany led to his death, among others, inspire us to stay strong in our faith and quest for peace, no matter the hurdles on the way.

We are bearers of peace in a conflict-ridden world. Our mission is to embody the calmness, love, and grace of Jesus, serving as sanctuaries amidst the chaos. As we step into the world, may our actions echo fairness, kindness, and love, reflecting the transformative love of Jesus. Our journey on Earth is about living out a unique kind of peacemaking that resonates with God’s loving heart, reaching from our hearts, to our homes, communities, and the world. May the grace of revolutionary peacemaking accompany us, as we shine as bright beacons of peace in a world caught up in conflict. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.