Nov. 16, 2013 Civility in Xian Scripture
November 16: I really want to be a peacemaker.
James 3:18, “Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”
I really want to be a peacemaker. But if I learned anything from my tiny bit of farming experience growing up, it’s that “sowing” can be hard work. James makes it sound so easy, so poetic. I find the actuality of peacemaking a bit more taxing. Harvest, even a harvest of righteousness, is hard work.
I really want to be a peacemaker. But I have to get on board with the long-haul view of this thing. Quoting the verse, memorizing the verse, and really liking the verse, just doesn’t get it done. Peacemaking is as much identity as it is action, like a farmer… farming is who a person is as much as what a person does. Sowing and reaping is an expression of the way of life chosen by a person, not just a days activities. I must be the sower and also the soil.
Did you notice the verse says “sow in peace” and not “sow peace.” Peace is not what we are necessarily sowing in life… peace is the way we sow all the things of the day. This is about our greetings, our lunch meetings, our arguments, our partings, our friendly waves, our stress-laden mornings and collapsing in bed at night. This is helping a friend with a question, a child with homework, and a parent carrying groceries. The peacemaker is not a “one-trick-pony” who just walks all day around bemoaning, “Can’t we all just get along?” The peacemaker looks like everyone else, but moves through life leaving a trail of righteousness, like the tail of comet sparkling in the night sky.
I really want to be a peacemaker.