Scripture: Romans 14:13-23
Key verse: (19) Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.
Reflection: We crave a little more peace in our lives but pursuing peace, that is something different altogether. We want peace just to happen. I know I would love to fall right into a peaceful moment. Pursuing peace is not easy. Paul puts this in the present tense which means we must go after this and cultivate peace as a lifestyle. One paraphrase of the bible puts it like this: “So let’s agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said: “The followers of Jesus have been called to peace. When He called them they found their peace, for He is their peace. But now they are told that they must not only have peace but make it.” Jesus is once again countercultural. Peace isn’t cheap and easy. Pursuing peace is part of being a person of faith.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:9:
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.”
Jesus didn’t tell us to be “peacekeepers,” but instead “peacemakers.” It takes effort to bring conflict to an end. Working for reconciliation and resolving conflict, we are doing what God does. We cannot wait around for peace; it must be pursued. Let us remember:
- Ephesians 4:3: “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
- Psalm 34:14: “Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”
- Romans 12:18: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
Prayer: God of compassion, Remind us of our complicity and responsibility in this complex world. Lead us towards generous engagement and always towards a vision of peace. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].