An Advent Devotional by Pastor Emmanuel Ilagan
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
How can we have peace, much less be peacemakers when there is so much unpeace in our lives? Each day we face situations that make personal peace so elusive: the stress of an unpleasant workplace; the uncertainty of a serious health issue; the lingering pain of a broken relationship; the pressure of a tight schedule that makes us sigh, “TGIF”.
Then there is the turmoil we see around us: families who lost their homes and livelihoods to natural or human-made disasters; hungry and sick refugee children; women-victims of human trafficking; innocent school children shot and killed by mindless individuals.
As human beings we cause and contribute to this unpeace. Yet God loved the world so much that God broke into human history and became one of us to bring us God’s Peace. It is not the kind of peace that the world gives; it is a Peace that can be made only by God. It is Peace that is founded on Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection.
This Peace from God is not just the absence of trouble or of bad things; it is Shalom. It is the presence of all the good things, a sense of wholeness that God had originally intended for us to have. Through the gift of faith in the Lord Jesus we receive this Peace.
This Peace was the message of the angels to the lowly shepherds on that Christmas night, “Peace on earth, goodwill to men”. It is the same Peace that we share when we greet one another on Sunday mornings with “Peace be with you.”
Making Peace is our Father God’s work. But now God recruits us to do the same – to be peacemakers ourselves. God desires that we proactively seek and work for the highest good of our neighbors, regarding them highly and treating them kindly. We cannot be peacemakers by our own strength; it is the Holy Spirit that empowers us to do the same.
Heavenly Father, we thank You for making Peace with us through Your Son Jesus Christ. Enable us to be peacemakers ourselves. Amen.