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.

A Prayer for a Happy Life {William Barclay Quotable}

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O God, keep us from the things which are bound to make life unhappy.

Keep us from the eyes which can always find some fault to see; the tongue which can always find something to grumble about; the heart which can always find some grudge and some bitterness to cherish.

Keep us from the perverseness which does not want anything it gets, and which always wants what it has not got; the ingratitude which does not even realize what it is getting; the attitude of mind which lives in resentment.

Give us the even temper which can take things as they come; the sense of humor which can always find some cause to smile; the gratitude which can always find something for which to be thankful; the cheerfulness which not all earth’s shadows and disappointments can extinguish.

Give us the spirit which can enjoy live, and which can help others enjoy it. ~William Barclay (from A Barclay Prayer Book)

Amen and Amen.

“The Lord make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace.” ~Numbers 6:25-26

Peace in Any Mystery {Amy Carmichael Quotable}

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Do you have unanswered prayer? Are you wondering why the hand of God appears still? For all those who are in the cleft of waiting and wondering:

If I wonder why something trying is allowed, and press for prayer that it may be removed; if I cannot be trusted with any disappointment, and cannot go on in peace under mystery, then I know nothing of Calvary love. ~Amy Carmichael

Your prayers may be unanswered, but they are not unheard. May the love of Calvary fill up your waiting and wondering with peace and grace. “And he has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness‘” ~2 Corinthians 12:9.