Mumbai Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) | PEACEMAKERS
Mumbai Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) | PEACEMAKERS | Details
14th September, 2015
Mr.Francis D'souza (Courtesy Charisindia Magazine)
Without doubt the most important need of the world today is PEACE. In a sense the world has everything it needs to be happy – and perhaps even more. But alas it is far from being happy because it is lacking in what is most necessary to real and lasting happiness and that is PEACE – GOLDEN PEACE.
This also becomes clear from a story told by President Gerald R. Ford in his book “A Time to Heal.” During the civil war in Greece in 1948, a villager was planning to emigrate to the United States. Before he left, he asked his weary, beleaguered, poverty-stricken neighbours, “What should I send when I get to America? Should I send money? Food? Clothing?” “No,” one of his neighbours replied, “you should send us a ton of tranquility.”
The International Day of Peace is celebrated on 21st September each year. The World Peace Day was declared by the United Nations (UN) in 1981. Since then it is observed by many nations, political groups, military groups, and peoples. The day is dedicated to peace, and specifically the absence of war, such as might be occasioned by a temporary ceasefire in a combat zone.
The good news is that there are plenty of peace-lovers all over the world who express their love for peace though various initiatives such as rallies, posters, street plays etc., and this indeed is right and a step in the right direction. But in order to achieve the goal set by the United Nations and considering the prevailing condition of the world which is further deteriorating at a rapid pace, we are in a desperate need of peace makers.
God is a peacemaker who always takes the first step. For this reason He sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ into the world which was in a state of turmoil and He preached peace to a warring world. Then, in the greatest peace initiative this world has ever seen, Christ made peace between God and man by dying for our sins (Col. 1:20).
Peacemaking efforts may be rejected, but the alternative is continued hostility. God didn't settle for that, nor should we. Let's take the first step in healing a broken relationship, whatever the cost.
Examples of and ways in which we can become peacemakers:
Eric Liddell, the Scottish runner whose life was portrayed in the movie Chariots Of Fire, served as a missionary in China for 20 years-the last 2 in a Japanese internment camp during the Second World War. He was known as a peacemaker among individuals and groups whenever anger flared in the stressful environment of the camp. Liddell's life left a deep impression on everyone.
When a Japanese guard asked why Liddell was not at roll call one day, a man told him that Eric had died unexpectedly a few hours earlier. The guard paused, then replied, "Liddell was a Christian, wasn't he?"
Liddell spoke no Japanese; the guard spoke no English. Their only direct contact was at the required roll calls, twice a day. How did the guard know that Liddell was a Christian? He must have seen Christ in Eric as he resolved conflicts in the camp.
In 1 Samuel 25:14-35 we read about Abigail - a remarkable woman! She was a true peacemaker whose courage spared the future king of Israel from committing a terrible sin. David sought compensation from her husband Nabal for the protection he and his men had provided. But Nabal not only refused but treated David's men with disdain. David decided to kill him and all the men of his household. When Abigail heard what had happened, she quickly gathered a large supply of food, intercepted David and his fighting men, and humbly apologized for her husband's surly behavior. David immediately realized that she had prevented him from carrying out a vengeful decision, and he praised God (1 Samuel 25:32).
Are we as quick to resolve a conflict?
Blessed Mother Teresa of Kolkata, saint of the gutters is among the many of the recognized peacemakers of the world. In fact she is also called the pillar of peace. These are the words on her business card which show how she fulfilled her role as a peacemaker:
The fruit of silence is prayer
The fruit of prayer is faith
The fruit of faith is love
The fruit of love is service
The fruit of service is peace
Proverbs 15:1 tells us that "a soft answer turns away wrath." While it's true that a humble response to wrath will normally cause it to subside, it's equally true that some people will never be pacified. Because of long-term bitterness and resentment, the tide of their wrath runs too high.
The only thing we can do-and the thing we must always do-is be meek and lowly in the face of their anger and leave the results with God. This doesn't mean we must stay in an abusive situation, for no one has the right to mistreat another human being. But it does mean we can, by God's grace, respond calmly to another's anger.
When we encounter anger and hostility, the follower of Christ can be a peacemaker. Paul wrote to the church at Rome with this challenge, "If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men" (Rom. 12:18). What does that mean? For one thing, it means that we must control what we can control. We can’t control the attitudes of others, but we can control our response.
When we see angry or hostile attitudes displayed around us, we can show the heart of the Prince of Peace by responding graciously in a peaceful manner. In this way we will demonstrate the attitude of our Savior in a world filled with a growing hostility. We must be peacemakers even if others refuse to be. Obedience is our job; the rest we leave to God
The world needs a peace that passes all misunderstanding.
Why should we do this?
Because God is a peacemaker, and when we make peace we are "called sons of God" (Matt 5:9). Peacemaking is a family trait.
The peace of God is truly a gift we enjoy in our hearts as we fellowship in His presence (John 14:27; 16:33). But He never intended for us to keep all of that peace to ourselves. Peace is a gift to be shared with those around us. As Christians, it should mark our relationships and characterize the environment of our churches.
Is it going to be easy?
As fallen human beings we are prone to be troublemakers instead of peacemakers, hence peacemaking will be a repeated activity. So, what does peacemaking involve? Peacemakers are those who turn the other cheek (Matt 5:39), go the extra mile (Matt 5:41), and love their enemies while praying for those who persecute them (Matt 5:44).
Our lives are filled with unlikely settings making it difficult for introducing God’s peace. We can feel imprisoned by hard feelings, strained relationships, and confining circumstances. Hence wherever we are today, let’s ask the Lord Jesus – The Prince of Peace to use us as His peacemakers.
So the question remains: Can this world ever know true peace? The Bible answers, "Yes!" Two Old Testament prophets describe a future disarmament unlike any in man's history (Isaiah 2:1-4; Micah 4:1-5). And Revelation 20 declares that Satan will be bound and unable to deceive the nations when Jesus Christ comes to reign in righteousness.
What about right now? Let us remember that peace on the global level depends upon the peace at the local level. Also that peace at the micro level can influence the peace at the macro level. Peace is inside out rather than outside in. When individuals trust Jesus as their Savior, they are reconciled to God and are motivated to be peacemakers in their own world of relationships-even with their enemies. God's peace in believers' hearts is a present reality, and the Lord's return to earth is the world's only hope for lasting peace. And it will come!
Because of the peace OF God and peace WITH God, we can be peacemakers FOR God.