"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." Matthew 5:9 NIV
There once was a man that came into a world of hate and injustice. His people had been enslaved, beaten, and oppressed for centuries. This man did amazing things, and he spoke words of healing, truth, and encouragement. He was hated by many. As a result, he was wrongly accused, imprisoned, whipped, and murdered. This man was wholly human and wholly divine, and his name is Jesus.
Being a peacemaker does not mean idly standing by wishing for peace but actively working towards its goal. It moves away from the default worldly mindset of division, violence, and hate towards something different, something Godly. It is replacing evil with righteousness. For this to happen, there must be a change of hearts that can only come through Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.
Today we remember Martin Luther King, Jr. We read his letters, recall his sermons, peace marches, and nonviolent protests. We give thanks for his life and all that he accomplished for racial equality. However, as we've witnessed many times over the years, that work is not complete. There are still flagrant acts of racism and injustice, and as peacemakers, we have much left to do.
Father God, we give thanks for your Son Jesus Christ, who showed us what it means to be a peacemaker. We are thankful for his sacrifice and dying for our sins, that we can have a change of heart. We can reject the mindset of this world to heaven. We are thankful for the gift of the Holy Spirit, which serves as our guide to act righteously. God, we ask for your help to stand as peacemakers and your children, showing justice for all people. Let all we say and do be for your glory. Amen.
I would encourage you to read (re-read) Letter from Birmingham Jail. It still has volumes to speak to us as Christians today about being peacemakers.