September 13, 2020


Matthew 5:9-12

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

—  Matthew 5:9

The concept of peace here is based on the meaning of the Hebrew word shalom. Shalom refers to a way of life in which justice, peace, goodness, rightness, and flourishing abound for all people. This is life as God intends it to be, in which everyone lives in harmony with God and with their ­neighbors.

Jesus came to bring and restore us to peace with God (John 16:33; Romans 5:1). And now we are invited to be peacemakers together with Jesus. Just as he is the Son of God, so we become children of God as we join in his mission of peacemaking.

Shalom-making involves every­thing we do—in our work and play, in the way we handle our finances, in all our relationships with family, friends, and neighbors. Shalom guides us to build unity across racial differences, break down barriers that keep people in poverty, call for legislation that helps life to flourish, and point to God’s way of living that brings full life for all, including care for God’s ­creation.

Christian worship often closes with a blessing of peace on the people who are gathered, so that they may go out to share God’s peace with others (Numbers 6:24-26):

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

Renew me, O Lord, with your peace that surpasses understanding, that I may be a peacemaker in all I do, following Jesus’ example. For his sake, Amen.

About the author — Syd Hielema

Syd Hielema serves the Christian Reformed Church in North America as director of a ministry project called Connections II. He has also served with Faith Formation Ministries, as a professor of theology and youth ministry at Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa, and as a chaplain and professor at Redeemer University in Ancaster, Ontario. Syd has been married to Evelyn for 43 years, and they enjoy bird watching near their home in Ancaster.

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