“Blessed are the peacemakers”.

These words were said by Jesus Christ over 2,000 years ago. Those words were needed then and have still not lost their significance today. 

Jesus spoke them to people as part of his famous Sermon on the Mount, spoken in a land occupied and brutally oppressed by the Romans. That same land is and has been in turmoil many times in the centuries before Jesus lived there and for many of the centuries after the time of Jesus. 

I’m not here to make any political statements, but simply to echo Jesus’s words. I learnt an important lesson from a friend whilst at theological college who preached a sermon on those words, reminded us all, that Jesus did not say ‘blessed are the peace-lovers’ but that Jesus stressed the word ‘peacemakers’. 

To love peace is one thing, but to make peace demands action on behalf of others. 

My sorrow, as that of many others, is rooted in the suffering of civilians; men, women and children that are simply trying to live their lives in the place they call home. 

To be a peacemaker urges us into action. For people of faith, we pray, for those with money we can give in support of medicines and other necessities, others will embody peace-making in many other ways. 

We can, in our words and actions become people that strive for reconciliation. 

A peacemaker will avoid division and seek to make peace in relationships and tense situations. They are people that diffuse anger in others rather than fuel it. 

Martin Luther King once said that ‘the ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where they stand at times of challenge and controversy’. 

These words perhaps explain the difference between a peace lover and a peacemaker. One of the challenges in our increasingly divisive world today is to stand and become a person of reconciliation and love, a peacemaker.

Many blessings

Rev Chris Jackson, 

Superintendant Minister 

West Devon Methodist Circuit