"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." Matthew 5:9
People often associate belonging by picking sides. "This is the group I am a part of, my place, my people." And sometimes we see the tragic results of this kind of thinking, as evidenced by the terrorist acts in Paris, or Bagdad, or Beirut, or Kenya... Before you think that it is Muslim problem, remember that Christians have committed countless heinous acts in the name of their faith as well.
Peacemaking is the idea of standing in the gap between sides, attempting to hear beyond the rhetoric. Peacemaking is about loving, no matter how difficult that might be. Peacemaking is about believing that the work of God is not the perception of being right. And according to Jesus, peacemaking is exactly how one connects with God.
Often what we hear is that God wants allegiance to God. But this beatitude suggests that God wants allegiance to the idea of bringing people together. How does this challenge your paradigm of what God wants from you?
Being a peacemaker requires listening and empathizing. Which of those skills needs work for you? How might you practice one or both this week?