Reflections on Blessed Are the Peacemakers

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.

Only those who have first tasted peace with God at the cross of Christ can become peacemakers. – James M. Boice

The peace intended is not merely that of political and economic stability, as in the Greco-Roman world, but peace in the Old Testament inclusive sense of wholeness, all that constitutes well-being… The ‘peacemakers,’ therefore, are not simply those who bring peace between two conflicting parties, but those actively at work making peace, bringing about wholeness and well-being among the alienated. – Robert Guelich

If we are really under the influence of the gospel, each encounter we have with another person should be an expression of that. – Alfred Poirier

To put it simply, peacemaking involves getting in between two conflicted, warring parties, bringing calm, listening attentively, and working toward a resolution. – Mike Kasting

O Father, until Jesus comes again and brings His fullest blessings of peace, may we become a peacemaking and peace-loving people who commit ourselves to intentional acts of love by which we work to overcome the enmity between us and other people. Amen.

Blessed Are Those Who Are Persecuted for the Sake of Righteousness

Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. – Acts 14:22

No other faith of mankind, religious or political, has quite so extensive a record of violent bitter opposition to its growth than the Christian church.
– Kenneth Scott Latourette

It may seem strange that Jesus should pass from peacemaking to persecution, from the work of reconciliation to the experience of hostility. Yet however hard we may try to make peace with some people, they refuse to live at peace with us. Not all attempts at reconciliation succeed. Indeed, some take the initiative to oppose us, and in particular to revile or slander us. This is not because of our foibles or idiosyncrasies, but ‘for righteousness’ sake and ‘on Jesus’ account’, that is, because they find distasteful the righteousness for which we hunger and thirst, and because they have rejected the Christ we seek to follow. Persecution is simply the clash between two irreconcilable value-systems. – John Stott

“Rejoice and be glad!” What can justify such counsel to people in pain? I see two possibilities: either this is the talk of an insensitive, ivory tower theologian who has never known what it is to scream with pain, or this is the talk of one who has seen
something and tasted something and knows something about a reality that most of us have never tasted or glimpsed. – John Piper

Reflections on “Blessed are the Merciful”

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)
“Teach me to feel another’s woe, To hide the fault I see,
That mercy I to others show, That mercy show to me.”
– Alexander Pope English poet (1688-1744)

O Christian, know your condition – the misery and the mercy. And let the horror
from which you have been rescued, and the mercy in which you live, and the
price that Christ paid, make you humble and thankful and patient and kind and
forgiving. You have never been treated by God worse than you deserve. And in
Christ you are treated ten million times better.
– John Piper

“Everybody loves to see justice done…on somebody else.”
– Bruce Cockburn

A Prayer to Pray:

“Lord, enable me this day to slow down and eliminate hurry, that I might remember You and the richness of Your mercy towards me. Today I offer you my hurts, anger, bitterness and disappointments. Enable me to forgive as generously and consistently as You forgive me. Teach me how to appropriately process any anger toward You, others and myself. I wait on You and trust in You, Lord. Show me the way of Your wisdom and love this day. AMEN.

Pete Scazzero© 2005
Center For Emotional Health & Spirituality
New Life Fellowship, Elmhurst, NY 11373

Reflections on “Those Who Mourn”

“Blessed are those who mourn” is, paradoxically, a more necessary message than
“Rejoice in the Lord always,” because there can be no true rejoicing until we
have stopped running away from mourning.
– Simon Tugwell, The Beatitudes
The disciples bear the suffering laid on them only by the power of Him who
bears all suffering on the Cross. As bearers of suffering, they stand in
communion with the crucified. They stand as strangers in the power of Him
who was so alien to the world that it crucified Him. This is their comfort, or
rather He is their comfort, their comforter…This alien community is comforted
by the cross.
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discipleship
Every suffering can be blessed because it hollows out a place in us for God and
His comfort, which is infinite Joy.
– Peter Kreeft, Back to Virtue