Every day on the we hear news that tells us there is no peace. Violence. The shooting of police officers. A military coup and subsequent government crackdown in Turkey. Tribal warfare in South Sudan. A rampage with a truck in France. We live in a time when society seems to be disintegrating around us.
As Christians we are called to be peacemakers (Matthew 5:9, James 3:18). Sometimes we confuse making peace with passivity. The Scriptures are clear that peace is something that requires effort. I mentioned one of the passages that shows this most clearly. Listen to the words of Psalm 34:
Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.
Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it. (Psalm 34:11-14, NIV 2011)
Peter quotes this passage in his first letter as well (1 Peter 3:10-12). Reflect on those words for a moment—“seek peace and pursue it.” What does it look like when we pursue peace? I’d be interested in hearing your answer to that question. Let me offer just two of my thoughts.
First, it begins with what we can do. When we look at the “big” issues of our time, it often seems overwhelming and may leave us feeling hopeless. Ask the question, what can I do to bring peace where I am? What would promote peace in my relationships with family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc.? Second, we must be committed to the effort. It’s one thing for us to say I want there to be peace, it’s quite another for us to maintain an attitude of peace and to do what we can. Let’s keep the pursuit of peace in the front of our minds.
Next week we’ll be looking at Ephesians 3:14-21 in our worship time. I have often said that if we could fully grasp the meaning of this passage, the Church would be effective in making a powerful difference in our world. I encourage you to come out if you can and bring a friend.
Josanne continues to be with her mother in Kentucky. I will be traveling to my Dad’s home in Scottsburg, Indiana on Wednesday afternoon to stay with him while my sister attends an education conference. That means I won’t be in the office on Thursday or Friday. Coffee Fellowship will go on as normal on Friday.
Remember that NDMC is responsible for the ice cream social at the band concert in Danvers in two weeks. There are still some places to sign up to help and there are other ways you can get involved. Check with Annette Morman or Margie Whittenbarger to see how you can help.