Fruit of the Spirit: Peace

Blessed Are the Peacemakers… Matthew 5:9

Vase

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.  James 3:17-18

The lone student in Tiananmen Square. Harriet Tubman. Mahatma Gandhi. Mother Teresa. Nelson Mandela. Rosa Parks. Martin Luther King Jr. Dahoud Nasser.

These are the people that come to mind immediately when I think of those who make peace.  They were (are in the case of Nasser) not wimpy idealists with their heads in the clouds. They took a stand for peace. They inspired movements for equality and human rights. And they did it all through acts of quiet dignity and love.

Of course, Jesus was The Exemplar. Many of his contemporaries – even his apostles – thought he had come as a warrior Messiah who would take up an army against the Emperor and claim the throne of Rome. But Jesus’ claim was wider, and his kingdom was beyond what any could imagine. Jesus overcame an empire greater than Caesar’s, and his throne is at the right hand of God.

 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.  John 16:33

With great effort and practice I am learning peacemaking. I learn from the example of Jesus who saw everyone through the eyes of love and grace. I learn from my Bible studies teacher, who continually reminds his students that we must offer compassion, that we are all sinners, and there but for the grace of God go we. I even learn from a fictional character named Sergeant Greg Parker, in a now defunct Canadian TV series called Flashpoint.

In this series, Sgt. Parker is the lead negotiator of a team of responders who attend to high stakes hostage situations. Parker’s job is to take every measure possible to see that both the hostages and the aggressors come out of the situation unharmed. To do this, Parker must be able to step outside himself and develop compassion for the aggressor. He must be open to change his worldview. Sometimes, he allows his emotion to become raw and real because Parker, in his transparency, can see a small seed of his own human frailty in his enemy. There but for the grace of God goes he. Parker is a peacemaker.

It is easy to make peace with those with whom we naturally find common ground. The difficulty comes in finding and making peace with our enemies. Yet, we are called to do that.

You have heard the law that said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. In that way, you will act as true children of your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:43-45)  And “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” (Romans 12:18)

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PEACE

by Ken Mudenda

We live in a world where people admire what they can’t afford

Poor people carrying rich information that they can’t encode

We are called to live in harmony but we’d rather be born thugs

Blessed we are but we ignore the One who uplifts us from rags

Everyday somebody dies for a piece of silver and gold

Peace can’t be attained without the mercy of the LORD

For a single meal on the table children are sold

Peace can’t be gasped without the breath of God

It’s funny how followers of the Son come out so cold

Peace is aimed at us, can’t you see the red dot?

Not the Hindu third eye, but Jesus’ blood spot

We have crowned violence and failing to dethrone it

It’s like a stubborn child, we just can’t disown it

In terms of resolutions a new year is just the day after the end of December

Your life remains the same till you change your mind-set not just the calendar

Instead of carrying the armour of God we’d rather carry a piece

The world will forever be indie till we are signed to peace.

~~~

We are only able to offer that kind of peace when we are comforted by the peace that God offers. When we accept His unmerited grace and mercy, we begin to feel connected, we begin to think in terms of being a vessel for God’s love, grace and mercy. At some point, even though we don’t understand it, our desire to look into people, rather than at them, has evolved. We have become transformed.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

Making peace is not about you or me; nor is it about our identified enemy. It is about connecting with those others who are also jars of clay. We are all broken vessels. Some may be broken beyond repair; but we are all His creation. And there but for His grace go I.

 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God. Matthew 5:9

Peace copyright 2014 Ken Mudenda

Ken Mudenda is a poet and student. I am Poetry http://kenmudenda.wordpress.com/ is the way Ken reaches out with the hand of peace through his words. His poetry is raw and transparent and cuts deep into the heart of his love for Jesus. He lives in Lusaka, Zambia and is a student at the University of Zambia.

This post can also be seen on Mind’s Seat, www.marmarthunder.wordpress.com

19 comments

  1. Beautiful post. Just beautiful.
    {I liked Flashpoint too. 😉 }

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    1. 😀 Thank you!

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  2. Such truth and beauty here. Glad I found you!

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    1. Oh, thank you so much, Anita. Bless you.

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  3. Susan, please forgive me for not reading your posts. I just discovered on my account where to find the posts I thought I was following and they were not marked for me to read your daily writings. I have adjusted my settings and hope to be catching up on one of my favorite devotional writers! Peace is the one I read first because of my obvious struggles with “the enemy/ies….you are a precious reminder of all that is sacred and holy and true. I need to follow Jesus closely because this walk is so very hard. xo…dale

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    1. My sweet friend, not to worry. (Actually, they are weekly, soon to be twice a week.) I know your struggle is so very difficult, and I continue to pray for you. In fact, was just about to send off an email when I saw this. I know He holds you close; I pray you let Him take your wounded heart and transform it. Maybe that could be your prayer, too.

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  4. This is, simply, a magnificent post. People would be well advised to give it a read. Thank you, Susan.

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    1. Bless you for your read and comment, Nav. Glad to have you back.

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      1. Even if the price was a red eye flight back to -30 deg C and snow shovelling, it’s worth paying to be back with my wonderful blogging friends.

        Bless you, too, Susan.

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  5. It’s so funny my friend, I have been watching FLASHPOINT for the last few weeks on Netflix. It’s one of my favorite shows, lol! And Ken’s poem is brilliant.

    “Instead of carrying the armour of God we’d rather carry a piece

    The world will forever be indie till we are signed to peace.”

    Wow…yes and amen!

    Peace to you sister, Diana

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    1. Thank you, Diana. Wasn’t sure at first about including Sgt. Parker, but the character got into my soul. That you as always for your comment and yes, Ken is a brilliant poet; all 9 are! 😉

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  6. Great post Susan! Just what I needed to confirm what I’m feeling today in the midst of my trying to get things together, get packed and ready for my travel to see my mother. I just had a talk with my daughter this morning and told her if I were to leave this earth today, I would be okay with it because I am at peace with God. I have the peace of God within me and feel the work I’m doing for God is pleasing in his sight. Every day I can’t help but look towards the light; Jesus. Thank you again for yet another wonderful post revealing the nature of God. Blessings my sister!

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    1. Aw, that was just the warm hug I needed today. Thank you, my sister!

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      1. Awesome! You’re welcome

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  7. Your words and understanding go from strength to strength, Susan. This is a wonderful post, full of that peace that the world never really grasps but should never cease seeking. I feel the peace flow from you here.x

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    1. Bless you, my friend. I always welcome your comments. We have and create such little peace in our world; I pray it moves in waves from one person to the next.

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    2. Hey, just found you on Twitter! How was I not following before???

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