October 09, 2021


Matthew 5:9

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

—  Matthew 5:9

One of the best and worst parts of having kids is seeing different parts of yourself in them as they grow up. I can look at my children and see some of my facial features and my hairline, my love for books and tacos, and more.

But I can also recognize my anxieties and sinful tendencies already present within them. And I lament those things that they have learned or received from me. As the saying goes, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

As Christians, we are not only forgiven but also adopted into a new spiritual family. And in this beatitude, Jesus reminds us that an essential part of being God’s children is to act as peacemakers wherever we go. We are called to model the generous and undeserved love of the Father in our relationships with everyone. Just as Jesus came with a ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5), we are called to be reconcilers in our workplaces, families, neighborhoods, and marketplaces.

In the face of fragmented cultures and political divisions, this is no easy calling. Peacemaking is hard, tedious, often thankless work. And yet Jesus assures us that when we make the effort, we are living as children of God.

Father, help me to be a peacemaker in all of my relationships. Forgive me when my speech or actions foster division, and help me to work for reconciliation and unity at every opportunity. Amen.

About the author — A.J. Gretz

Anthony Joseph (A.J.) Gretz is a pastor in Grandville, Michigan. He has also served churches in Ohio and in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He and his wife, Anna, have three children.

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