“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God…” Matthew 5:9
I am not generally a publicly political person. As a pastor’s wife, it’s good to see multiple points of view! If it matters, I would classify myself as a liberal. BUT, before some of you decide to stop reading, I need to tell you that many of my nearest and dearest friends would classify themselves as conservative. Our American political pundits would be shocked to discover that once you’ve shared a part of your life journey with someone, who they vote for matters very little to the relationship.
That said, I have become increasingly troubled by the talk of U.S. military strikes in Syria. I am not an expert on the civil war in Syria. My friend Tricia over at the Domestic Fringe has had some good educational articles on the subject. Don’t worry–she’s not a political nut, either!! Her blog is a witty and vibrant reflection of modern daily life with some fashion tips thrown in to boot!
I think the violence in Syria, as in many parts of our world, is deplorable. But our current political stance on the situation makes me think, to steal a phrase from Dr. Becky Bailey, “There’s got to be a better way.”
When I was in seminary, there was an amazingly powerful art sculpture hanging in the antechamber of our chapel. And artist had fashioned some swords into the shape of a plow, thus reflecting the prophetic vision of Isaiah 2:4 and Micah 4:3 of the coming of the kingdom of the Lord in which the people of Judah and Jerusalem will be at peace, “beating their swords into plowshares”. I loved that this sculpture was placed before the entryway of the place for holy worship. It reminded me each time I walked into chapel of the love that God has for His people and the ways in which we are to show others that love.
As Christians, I think we need to be the voice of peace in the world. I’m not saying our local churches should start organizing protest marches, although some might. But I think that if we want to stand against violence and aggression in our world, we need to do so with love. We need to support organizations that seek to lift people up. We need to be a visible presence for good in our communities. We need to speak to others using words of respect and kindness, even in the midst of a disagreement. We need to show our children what it’s like to empathize, not criticize. We need to show them how to build others up, not tear them down with judgement.
I don’t know how to end the civil war in Syria. But I know that there are ways we can help those affected by the violence there without the use of weapons.
Blessed are the peacemakers, Jesus said. Let’s work harder to be one of them.
Blessings and Peace,