SCRIPTURE TEXT: “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”- Matthew 20:13-15 (CEV)
God calls us to be actively involved in ensuring peace in our homes, in our communities and in our nation. As far as God is concerned, His people are family and though families have differences, there is always a bond of LOVE which keeps family members together – a love given by God through the Holy Spirit. God has poured His love in us – Romans 5:5b. Love spawns because love wants to ensure the well-being of the object of love.
Peace must always be understood in the context of true reconciliation because peace springs from reconciliation. Reconciling is making peace. The Hebrew word which translates peace – SHALOM refers to the “complete well-being God offers to the individual, a city or a country including its material prosperity and physical safety.”
God is very concerned about the physical safety of the people He has created and even more so for those He has redeemed as His own because it is His will in Christ Jesus that such people become His agents of reconciliation and peace – 2 Cor. 5:18-19.
We cannot talk about peace without talking about reconciliation. For in order to have peace we must do way with enmity – hatred to one another. Reconciliation means bringing back together again, restoring relations between people, making peace between disputing people. This is the work the Lord Jesus Christ has done for us. Through His sacrifice on the cross He has atoned for our sins and brought us back to God. He gives us the mandate to be His representatives on earth to help with God’s agenda of reconciliation.
We cannot allow the relative peace we have been enjoying to fall apart. The question is: What am I doing to ensure that I live at peace with others?
PRAYER THOUGHT: “Dear Lord, help me to live in peace with the people around me.” Amen.