Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Blessings.8

"Blessed are you peacemakers, 
for you will be called the children of God." 
--Jesus

With the growing global protests in places like Ukraine,
 
Egypt, Syria, and Ferguson, Missouri, it might be timely to consider Jesus' promise to the peacemakers. 


Here are thoughts of hope from George MacDonald.
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"Those that are on their way to see God, those who are growing pure in heart through hungering and thirsting after righteousness, are indeed the children of God; but specially the Lord calls those his Children who, on their way home, are peace-makers in the travelling company; for, surely, those in any family are specially the Children, who make peace with and among the rest.

The true idea of the universe is the whole family in heaven and earth. All the children in this part of it, the earth, at least, are not good children; but however far the earth is from being a true portion of a real family, the life-germ at the root of the world is its relation to God the father of men.
For the same purpose, the whole divine family is made up of numberless human families, that in these, men may learn and begin to love one another.

God, then, would make of the world a true, divine family.
Now the primary necessity to the very existence of a family is peace. Many a human family is no family, and the world is no family yet, for the lack of peace.

Wherever peace is growing, there of course is the live peace, counteracting disruption and disintegration, and helping the development of the true essential family.
The one question as to any family is, whether peace or strife be on the increase in it; for peace alone makes it possible for the binding grassroots of life -love and justice- to spread throughout what were else but a wind-blown heap of still drifting sand. 
The peace-makers quiet the winds of the world ever ready to be up and blowing; they tend and cherish the interlacing roots of the ministering grass; they spin and twist many uniting cords, and they weave many supporting bands; they are the servants, for the truth's sake, of the individual, of the family, of the world, of the great universal family of heaven and earth.
They are the true children of that family, the allies and ministers of every clasping and consolidating force in it; fellow-workers they are with God in the creation of the family; they help him to get it to his mind, to perfect his father-idea.
Ever radiating peace, they welcome love, but do not seek it; they provoke no jealousy. They are the children of God, for like him they would be one with his creatures.
His eldest son, Jesus, his very likeness, was the first of the family-peace-makers. Preaching peace to them that were afar off and them that were near, he stood undefended in the turbulent crowd of his fellows, and it was only over his dead body that his brothers began to come together in the peace that will not be broken. He rose again from the dead; his peace-making brothers, like himself, are dying unto sin; and not yet have the evil children made their father hate, or their elder brother flinch.
On the other hand, those whose influence is to divide and separate, causing the hearts of men to lean away from each other, make themselves the children of the evil one: born of God and not of the devil, they turn from God, and adopt the devil their father.
They set their God-born life against God, against the whole creative, redemptive purpose of his unifying will, ever obstructing the one prayer of the first-born: that the children may be one with him in the Father.
Against the heart-end of creation, against that for which the Son yielded himself utterly, the sowers of strife, the fomenters of discord, contend ceaseless. They do their part with all the other powers of evil to make the world which the love of God holds together one heaving mass of dissolution.
But they labor in vain.

Through the mass guided in dance in inexplicable prophetic harmony,
move the children of God,

the lights of the world,

the lovers of men,

the fellow-workers with God,

the peace-makers;

ever weaving the web of the world's history after a pattern devised by, and known only to God who orders their ways.
But for them the world would have no history; it would vanish, a cloud of wind-borne dust. As in his labor, so shall these share in the joy of God, in the divine fruition of victorious endeavor. 
Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God-the children because they set the Father on the throne of the Family.

The main practical difficulty, with some at least of the peace-makers, is, how to carry themselves toward the un-doers of peace, the dis-uniters of souls.

One thing is plain-that we must love the strife-maker; another is nearly as plain-that, if we do not love him, we must leave him alone; for without love there can be no peace-making, and words will but occasion more strife.

To be kind neither hurts nor compromises. Kindness has many phases, and the fitting form of it may avoid obedience, and must avoid untruth.
We must not fear what man can do to us, but commit our way to the Father of the Family. We must be nowise anxious to defend ourselves.

Whatever our relation, then, with any peace-breaker, our mercy must ever be within call; and it may help us against an indignation too strong to be pure, to remember that when any man is reviled for righteousness-sake, then is he blessed."
---George MacDonald, The Hope of the Gospel (edited)