Whitewater rafting or kayaking is a high adventure sport that races adrenaline in our veins. I spent many weekends in my younger years on the rivers of North Carolina. After navigating the rapids, my friend and I would stand on the bank and toss a rescue rope for hours to help those who went for an unintended swim in the chilling rapids. This was one part free entertainment, and one part a ministry of kindness to serve those less experienced paddlers. As I reflect on this experience, it serves in my mind as an image for what being a peacemaker can look like.
Peace is a feeling that we often know when we find it, but Jesus used a word in Matthew 5:9 that only appears in this one verse of the Bible. Jesus crafted a new word to describe the invitation He extends to His followers to join Him on an active mission to pursue peace. Being a peacemaker does not mean we wait for peace to come to us, it requires that we engage with others in pursuit of peace.
In an American culture that has exposed chilling waters of rapid change and danger, we are called to actively extend a rope of peace that shares the hope of Christ. Rather than stiff-arming those who align with an opposing political party or celebrate a culture different than ours, we are commissioned to allow our vertical walk with God to impact our horizontal relationships in love.
This will require us to listen well, love sincerely, while holding fast to truth. Commit to carry hope as a peacemaker this week. In doing so we can stand on the shore as our loved ones are swept in the current of culture and offer a life rope of hope where they can stand in security on the shore of peace.