Transcending Our Differences {Scot McKnight Quotable}

      One question has captivated my thoughts this week: how will there ever be peace? My heart feels weary for nations, churches, families, marriages, and friendships torn apart. War is in our hearts. What can be done?

May this quote spur on all of us:

Peacemaking is neither being “nice” (as defined today), nor is it “tolerance” (again as defined today); rather it is an active entrance into the middle of warring parties for the purpose of creating reconciliation and peace. But neither is soft-pedaling around real but not identical differences–that is, between those who have experienced apartheid and those who inflicted apartheid, between those who split a church and those who choose to remain, between a husband and a wife who are struggling to get along, between two colleagues at the office, or between parents and children who can’t seem to find enough common ground to trust one another. The peacemaker, as the person whom Jesus blesses, seeks to reconcile–not by pretending there are no differences or by suppressing differences, but by creating love of the other that transcends differences or permits the people to join hands in spite of differences. Jesus will speak of reconciliation on other occasions, and these perhaps are the best commentary on “peacemakers” (Mt 5:21-26,43-48;6:14-15;18:21-35). His framing of moral relations in terms of love (Mt 22:34-40) and servanthood (Mt 20:20-28) provide foundations for peacemaking.

–Scot McKnight, Sermon on the Mount (The Story of God Bible Commentary)

Yes, blessed are the peacemakers–those brave souls who enter into the war zone and overwhelm the differences with love–for they will be called children of God.

When All Else Fails {Amy Carmichael Quotable}

“And He [the Delight of God] bearing His cross went forth into a place called the place of the skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: where they crucified Him, and two other with Him, on either side, and Jesus is the midst” (John 19:17-18). The Delight of God–crucified. He who was as the Jewel set in the heart of that pure glory, where the God of Heaven and earth prepared the sunrise for the earth; He to be hanged in shame between two thieves, that our eyes might see His salvation, which He had prepared before the face of all people; a Light to lighten the Gentiles, and the Glory of His people Israel; that we, who sat in darkness, might see a great light; that to us who sat in the region and shadow of death, light might spring up–words fail, thoughts fail, before such love. “O come, let us worship and fall: and kneel before the Lord our Maker” (Psalm 95:6). ~Amy Carmichael, Though Givest…They Gather

His light is still shining. Do you sit in darkness, not sure which way to go? Do words fail? Thoughts too? Then set your eyes to the horizon of his coming. Wait for him. Let your waiting be as worship, for he is faithful and his light will spring up.