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Peace making is not optional…

I am amazed and in shock of the results of the election.  Democracy at work.  It does what it promises: provides a voice for the people to heard and acted upon.  For that right and privilege I am thankful.

Yet, the real work begins now.  Not for the government or for those that hold the high offices in this country.  They will do their work.

The real work begins for the people that make up this country.  WE have a choice, and it is the most important of choices.  Again, I want to speak for bit to those that say, “I follow Jesus.”  I do not put upon those outside of the faith to fall in line with this train of thought, but to those that claim Christ, this topic seems to be one of primary and non-negotiable calls of Jesus.

Jesus, in the beginning of his largest continually message found in Scripture, says this:

Blessed are the peacemakers,

for they will be called children of God. 

(Matthew 5:9, NIV)

Will we be peacemakers? Yes or No.  That is our choice, here and now.  Vote with your actions.

Making peace are what those that follow after Jesus are called to do.  Making peace is not the same as maintaining or keeping the peace.   And by the way, lots of times, peace keeping has to do with keeping a false harmony – i.e. we agree to disagree, or we can all be right, or we are not going to yell at each other while we are in the same room, but we will hate each other when we leave this room.

We are not called to maintain, and keep a false peace.  That is a passive action.  We are called to make peace.  To fight for peace where ever we are are, in whatever circumstance we find ourselves.  Peace making is an active fight for something that is hard to obtain, but not impossible

No matter which way you voted, the choosing of ‘who’  has passed. Now the choice is about who we will ‘be’ is upon us.

The wave of craziness that I saw during the 15 minutes I spent on Facebook this morning defies logic in so many ways – from both sides.  It is ugly and nasty.

Our call as people that follow Jesus is lead in a way that makes peace.  When we step into the place of stirring up anger, fear, arrogance, worry, and general discontent – we are not being peace makers.  If we are not making peace, in those moments, we are not following Jesus.  When we feed the need to win the fight, justify our actions and words we are not making peace, we are instead sowing lies, deceit and hurt in the world.  

And by the way, the world is watching.  Those that call themselves Christians have been acting in a few very distinct ways.  Some embracing the Republican candidate, some the Democratic and some going Third Party.  This in of itself is not confusing, what is confusing to those outside of the tribe that professes to follow Jesus is the discord and the anger and the fear that we have used to justify our candidate.

This does not smell like peace making.  This smells like death and divisiveness.  We must stop this immediately.  Those that hear and see those that follow Jesus embodying things that are the exact opposite of what Jesus did and commanded, has to stop.

So please hear me, no matter where you fall on the political spectrum, your allegiance to Jesus trumps your allegiance to anyone or anything else.  His call  to us is to be peace makers in this world, not division builders.

If we are not making and seeking peace, we must check where our allegiances truly are.  If we are sowing discontent and divisiveness, then our primary commitment to Christ must be prayerfully examined.  You might need to repent and say, “God, I have not been a peace maker.  Forgive me and restore me.  Help me to fight for peace in the relationships and the community in which I live.”

In this time and season, the world needs peace makers.  Peace makers will be called children of God.  If you want to the world to see God at this time, then actively pursue peace making. 

God help us to be an accurate and true representation of Your heart to this world.  Amen

Vigilant in all things,

Kevin A. Parido

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