“I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
~ Luke 12:49-53
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
~ Matt 5:9
I have always had difficulty understanding these two passages even though they have been read many times. Jesus did not come to bring peace on earth (Luke). Yet He tells us peacemakers are blessed (Matthew). Apparently, being peaceful and being a peacemaker are not necessarily the same. To be peaceful one needs to get away from division and conflict. But, to be a peacemaker one needs to be in the middle… bringing a stop to the conflict… creating unity where there is argument… reconciling not creating strife. Lord, I pray for wisdom in this divided world during this Christmas season. What am I to do to bring peace? How can I be a peacemaker?
Frank Butler, elder