Pastor's Corner

3 Feb
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Mid-Week Challenge

Midweek Challenge 

It would appear that revival has come to Washington; that is if you take into account how often religion, spirituality and the Bible is referred to in speeches and lectures given to us by politicians.  As a pastor it is becoming too much to ignore.  I have never been one to question another person’s faith and I will not start today, but when the Bible is being used so often to advance a political agenda and in the process of its use, the message is twisted to mean the opposite, I cannot let it go unmentioned.   

Today, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick was memorialized in a Congressional ceremony as his remains lie in honor at the US Capitol.  Officer Sicknick was killed during the riot at the Capitol on January 6. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke, offering their condolences to the family and the nation.  It was Schumer’s opening that caught my attention.  As he recognized those in attendance he then moved to “quote” the book of Matthew. He said, “The Book of Matthew reminds us, ‘Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall be called the children of God.’”  A casual Bible reader can recognize that the text does not say peacekeeper but peacemaker.  Was it a slip, maybe a staffer who is at fault for the error? Wanting to equate Officer Sicknick to the profession of peacekeeper?  Or maybe it goes to the heart of what we have seen from our leaders over the past few years.  

In the Biblical meaning of what Jesus was teaching in Matthew 5:9 there is a big difference between being a peacemaker and a peacekeeper. Peacekeepers simply want to keep the peace and disguise true differences with fake unity, while true peacemakers act to unify people around a common mission more powerful than lesser differences. Peacemakers unite us without denying the differences that can make us stronger, not weaker.

These approaches look the most different when you consider them in the light of eternity. Peacekeepers use threats of violence, or the presence of physical power, to maintain peace. But peacemakers take aim at the heart of the problem: the hearts of people, starting with themselves. There is a difference between unity and coexistence. To maintain a form of peace, peacekeepers will silence divergent opinions. But Believers, who truly carry an overflowing peace in their hearts, shine bright in a dark world.

When Officer Sicknick lost his life on January 6 he did so as a heroic peacekeeper. He was doing his job and he deserves our respect and admiration.  He was not acting in the spirit of Matthew 5:9, but we as Christians must.  Our Lord has called us to be the agents of peace in a world of chaos.  Our job is made harder when those in leadership or with the loudest voice use the words of Christ to promote a differing agenda.  They sound sympathetic, but using words that sound like the Shepherd’s doesn’t fool those who truly know His voice.   Pray for discernment and don’t be fooled by the words you hear and stories you read.  Know the words of Jesus and there will be no doubt when He calls upon you.  

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  John 10:27 

Serving the Savior,

Bro. Jonathan

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