Happy are those who strive for peace—they shall be called the sons of God.
We live in a world that is full of strife. Every day it seems that trouble flares up in one place or another. Muslims slug it out in the Middle East; different political parties shout across the divides in the USA; workers and bosses dispute conditions in the textile industry; sports fans come to blows on the Terraces; and so it goes on. I guess that has been the state of the world longer than any of us can remember.
It even happens in Churches in case you hadn’t noticed. The Reformation in Europe had its martyrs even in Steyning!
Peace-Makers are therefore promised blessings; they stand between disputants, and can often feel the ire of both sides.
This week’s readings may encourage you to strive to be a Peacemaker in the place God has put you – but it may be costly!
1-2 One day as the crowds were gathering, he went up the hillside with his disciples and sat down and taught them there.
3 “Humble men are very fortunate!” he told them, “for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them. 4 Those who mourn are fortunate! for they shall be comforted. 5 The meek and lowly are fortunate! for the whole wide world belongs to them.
6 “Happy are those who long to be just and good, for they shall be completely satisfied.
7 Happy are the kind and merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.
8 Happy are those whose hearts are pure, for they shall see God.
9 Happy are those who strive for peace—they shall be called the sons of God.
10 Happy are those who are persecuted because they are good, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
11 “When you are reviled and persecuted and lied about because you are my followers—wonderful! 12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! for a tremendous reward awaits you up in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted too.