“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Verse 9 (NIV)
We just celebrated Canada Day and one of the qualities of the Canadian culture is that we are peacekeepers. Not just active peacekeepers on the international stage, but generally we are known as a peace-loving people.
The concept of peace here in this text, is based on the meaning of the Hebrew word shalom. Shalom refers to a way of life in which justice, peace, goodness, rightness, and flourishing abound for all people. This is life as God intends it to be, in which everyone lives in harmony with God and with their neighbors.
Jesus came to bring and restore us to peace with God (John 16:33; Romans 5:1). And now we are invited to be peacemakers together with Jesus, not just peacekeepers, but peace makers. Just as he is the Son of God, so we become children of God as we join in his mission of peacemaking.
Shalom-making involves everything we do – in our work and play, in the way we handle our finances, in all our relationships with family, friends, and neighbors. Shalom guides us to build unity across racial differences, break down barriers that keep people in poverty, call for legislation that helps life to flourish, and point to God’s way of living that brings full life for all, including care for God’s creation.
Being a peace maker or a shalom maker calls for us to be like Jesus in how we live, how we play, how we act and how we interact with people and the world. We know from Jesus words that the world will hate us (John 15:19), so we need to walk in the power of Jesus.
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6: 24-26 (NIV)