Sunday, January 28, 2018

Wondering about the Prince of Peace

To be saved, to be born again is to be transferred from a domain of conflict to a kingdom of peace. This statement is, of course, a slight alteration (or perhaps expansion) of what Paul says at Colossians 1:13 (you can look it up!).

The "kingdom of conflict" is, of course, this world now. The world, as it has pretty much always been. This present darkness. The "kingdom of peace," on the other hand, is anywhere the Prince of Peace reigns. The Christ follower, every one of them, is called to be a representative example of the citizens of that kingdom. That might be why Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."

High calling, that. We are representatives of a kingdom of peace. We aspire to be peacemakers, reconcilers. As children of God we bear the Spirit's fruit, one of which is peace. Peace is what Jesus came for, abiding and ultimately creation-encompassing peace. Angels sing about that in wonder.

Hard to follow in that high calling when we're always diving into conflicts, choosing sides, taking issue, grinding polemical axes. We do this over politics, we do it over theology, sports, or even styles of music, etc. It seems to be a natural inclination.

I'm as guilty as the next one when it comes to ax-grinding, but that inclination is always problematic. It's something that can darken the light that is in me. It can compromise the very mission that God has called me to.

So it's my goal to investigate the way of peace in the coming year. I must admit I hardly know what this means. For example, who are these peacemakers that Jesus speks of? How are they engaged in peacemaking? Is this always and only a spiritual matter, having to do with the reconciling of men with God? Or does the mission of the peacemaker encompass much more than that? I think the answer to that question is, yes, much more.

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