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Tuesday, April 20, 2010


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[April 20, 2010]   --"As Jesus came near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, ''If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace!'"-Luke 19: 41-42

Would you even know peace if you saw it? It seems that peace has become a stranger in this land over recent years. As wars began abroad so too did the partisan wars of our political and cultural landscape escalate. Now we have reached the point where hatred and vitriol are so pervasive that it feels impossible to even have civil conversations anymore.


A couple of weeks ago I accompanied the visioning council of the presbytery to Bradley University where we met with some students to ask them about issues of faith and church. One thing that became quickly apparent was that they were not shy about speaking about faith, but they were scared. Each of the students in my small group recounted instances where the sharing of faith or belief or even doubt had led to a heated argument that they did not want. Each of them were interested in speaking about faith and doubt, but they had become scared of bringing it up. How many of us are the same, scared to speak about politics or faith for fear of the reactions that we will receive? We are not just at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, we are at war here too. And this war could very well see the end of civic dialogue in our nation.

But if this is to happen then we, as Christians, must not be party to it. Jesus, you see, was all about peace. In his life we see all the things that make for peace and these same attitudes and attributes can bring peace to our own relationships and even our own nation. Love of enemy and friend, compassion for those in need, outreach to those on the fringes of society, honesty in our words and deeds. These are the seeds of peace and the foundation for peaceful relationships.


As Christians we must always seek peace in our conversations and dialogues and we should create a safe harbor amidst the tumultuous political sea around us for people to come and speak without fear of anger, rage or name-calling. So lets allow the pundits to scream away on television and the politicians to call each other nazis, and let's step back. Let's treat those who disagree with us with dignity and respect and speak to them with peace in our hearts. Let us show the world the things that make for peace in the name of he who came for peace.

Prayer: Holy God, help me to be a peacemaker. Help me to be open and honest in my conversations and to respect others even as I might disagree with them. I pray in the name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.

[Phil Blackburn, First Presbyterian Church]

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