March 25 Lent Devotional

The Peacemakers
March 25, 2021
By Pastor Lesly Broadbent

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.

The Jewish Rabis held that the highest task which a [person] can perform is to establish
right relationships between [one person] and [another person]. That is what Jesus means
[in this beatitude]. There are people who are always storm centres of trouble and
bitterness and strife. Wherever they are, they are either involved in quarrels themselves or
the cause of quarrels between others. They are troublemakers. There are people like that
in almost every society . . . and such people are doing the devil’s own work. On the other
hand – thank God – there are people in whose presence bitterness cannot live, people who
bride the gulfs, and heal the breaches, and sweeten the bitternesses. Such people are
doing a godlike work, for it is the great purpose of God to bring peace between [humans]
and Himself, and between [one person] and [another person]. The [person] who divides
[people] is doing the devil’s work; the [person] who unites [people] is doing God’s work.
(Barclay, The Gospel of Matthew, p. 105)

So how can we determine if we are a peacemaker or a troublemaker? Let me tell you, it’s difficult. Our natural inclination is to see our enemies as those who are the instigators, agitators, oppressors, and troublemakers and to see ourselves as the innocent victims of our enemy’s evil actions. We claim the higher moral ground of the victim. But for reconciliation to occur we must move past, to some degree, of instigator versus victim. Justice and reconciliation will never occur as long as we see our enemies as the instigators and us as the victims. And this is where the cross of Christ comes in the picture. Jesus was the innocent victim and we were, are, and will be the instigators of the violence that led to Jesus’ death. We are all the instigators, agitators, oppressors, and troublemakers. If Jesus, the victim of our sins, can forgive us for his death, how much more so should we forgive our enemies, instigators, and victims alike.

Where have you found yourself to be the instigator in a conflict? Where have you found yourself to be the victim in a conflict? Make peace today by offering reconciliation and forgiveness just as Jesus has offered it to you.
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