Pastor Wayne Derber
Phone: 815-570-2088 (home) 815-508-3435 (cell)
“As he (Jesus) came near and saw the city (Jerusalem), he wept over it, saying, ‘If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are indeed hidden from your eyes.’” – Luke 19:41-42
The Things That Make for Peace
Dear Friend in Christ,
I wonder if Jesus seeing the violence in our nation might have the same reaction he had with Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday – weeping over us and lamenting that the things that make for peace seem to be hidden from our eyes. What are the things that make for peace? Let me offer some possibilities:
1) Pray for those suffering from violence, for our elected leaders, and that we might work together for peaceful solutions.
2) Confess the hatred in our own hearts, our acceptance of violence in our culture, and the arrogant ways in which we sometimes criticize people who disagree with us.
3) Listen to those suffering from violence, to those with different views than our own, and most importantly to the Word of God in the Bible.
4) “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39).
5) Work for peace in a world where division and strife sometimes seem so strong. “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9).
6) Do good and compassionate actions realizing that only goodness and not more evil can overcome evil. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).
7) Follow the non-violent ways of Jesus, who once said: “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (Matthew 26:52).
8) Work for justice, knowing that injustices often cause violence. Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for the sick, visit the prisoner, shelter the homeless, and welcome the stranger.
9) Trust God for ultimate safety and security and not weapons, institutions, or political leaders. “You shall have no other gods before me” (Ex. 20:3).
I certainly do not have all the answers to the violence in our culture. I would like to hear your views. Together, with God’s help, hopefully we can be doing the things that make for peace.
In Christ, Pastor Wayne