Powerful are the Peacemakers
Philip Young reminds us how powerful love is as he looks forward to next year’s Armistice Day.
If we are to believe the prophets there will come a time when ‘nation shall not lift up sword against nation again, neither shall they learn war anymore’ (Isaiah 2v4)
Jesus calls the peacemakers blessed for they shall be called children of God. Jesus came to bring peace on earth. He gives us a new commandment that we are to love one another just as he has loved us.
Next year will be exactly 100 years since the coming of peace after the First World War. On the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 2018 Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday will fall on the same day. Already preparations are being made to mark this special anniversary. I say that every day is a good day to choose peace and love. I cannot think of a better way of honouring the fallen than to choose to work for a world without war.
It would be good if all of us can become peacemakers, because it needs a mass of people to bring about an end to war. However each person choosing to be a peacemaker does make a difference and adds to the power of the light over the darkness.
The call of God to be a peacemaker is quite simple. God is love and he calls us to love others as he loves us. Never underestimate the power of love to break the chains of fear, ignorance and hatred and to bring new life into the world.
Jesus shows us this power of love by choosing the way of the cross. When Jesus was persecuted and hated and people called for his death by crucifixion, how did he respond? He responded by loving us and forgiving those who put him to death. It is significant that he did not respond by any form of defending himself. He met violence against him with a powerful non-violence. The power was enough to break the power of death and to bring new life through resurrection.
In choosing to be peacemakers we are aligning ourselves with the power of love, which is far stronger than any other power. Therefore the word ‘pacifist’ does not do justice to what a peacemaker is about. Jesus may have appeared passive when he answered his accusers at his trial with silence. However Jesus was far from passive because, by his love and forgiveness he was yielding a power that is far beyond words.
The power of love is ours when we choose to be a peacemaker. Will you choose this way and help bring about that time when we shall learn war no more?
If, at present, you carry a sword maybe you can beat it into a ploughshare? You will find that carrying love and truth in your heart is a lot more comfortable.
Philip is an Anglican, Quaker, and a member of the Third Order of Franciscans. He moved to Felixstowe two and a half years ago. Until July 2014 he was the Diocesan Environmental Officer for the Norwich Diocese. In June 2017 he stood as an Independent Candidate for the General Election in the Suffolk Coastal Constituency. He is now a freelance writer on spiritual and political matters. He is available to run Quiet Days, give talks, presentations or to preach and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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