How long? Those are the words that peace-seeking people have uttered since the beginning. How long will the conflict last? How long will people speak with violence instead of words? How long will lives matter so little and power matter above all else? How long will one group of people think themselves better than another when all are equal before God?

I don’t have the answer to that question, but this I do know. It will not last forever, for the God of mercy and justice WILL have his way and one day all things shall be right and righted. Until that day, we are called to be seekers of peace. Peace is something that seems to be in little supply these days. Recent events in Charlottesville and cities in Spain are just the newest reminders that unrest and violence and hate are on the rise. Threats from North Korea are daily on the news and our own country seems to be more divided each day. Social media is filled to the brim with inflammatory rhetoric and polling shows that more Americans are anxious about the future of our world than ever before.

As Christians, we are to stand in the gap for others. We are to speak truth to power. We are to act on behalf of those who cannot act for themselves. But we are also called to listen to all voices. We are called to speak the truth IN LOVE, and we are called to seek peace and pursue it. Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace has come to us and shown us the way of peace. It is not easy and it does not mean inaction. But it does mean listening to all voices, working for common ground, leading by example, and prayer.

Recently, a gentleman came to me and proclaimed, “Praying doesn’t work! Its time to take up arms!” To which I responded, “Now more than ever, prayer is the only thing that WILL work.” Whatever your position, take a step back, listen to other opinions, be able to share your position in a respectful way and pray for the peace that “passes understanding”. Then work for peace, pursue it, and live it. As the song says, Let there be peace on Earth…and let it begin with me.

Partnering With You In Building God’s Kingdom,

Pastor Susan