Highworth United Reformed Church

Here for you

22 September 2019

By The Revd Robert Jordan MA

Ephesians 2:11-22

Faithful Peacemaking
Some of the notes for this sermon are taken from the "Fellowship of Reconciliation" page
for Faithful Peacemaking Sunday.

Faithful response…? What does that really mean? And when it refers to Peacemaking,
how does it apply to us?

The work of peacemaking starts with the fact that God is Love and that His love has been
poured out into the world. Every person and everything that has been created is loved entirely
by God. Love is here - undeniably at large in the world. It is not an ideal which we struggle
towards, or try to bring into being, it is already given by God, who is its source.

Just as it was God who first poured out his love into the world, so God has also brought peace
into the world. Through Jesus Christ God reached down and made peace with us. 

By doing this God has made peace possible within the entire created world. God has taken the
initiative and we are called to respond, this is the meaning of being Faithful. We are not
starting from scratch. We are not creating peace. We are enabling God's peace, that is already
here in the world, to be encountered, experienced and enjoyed by those we are called to serve.
God's peace is at large in the world. And we are called to seek this peace, to enable it to take
root, and to encourage it to flourish. This is what it means to be a peace
maker.
Peace not only as the absence of war (which truly is important) but what is even more important
is peace as the possibility for all to live fulfilling lives, to the utmost of our God given potential.

Peacemaking in the world today includes Ecology and our responsibility for the environment,
 it includes justice - be it economic justice, gender justice, racial justice… Justice in all its
forms.
It means not supporting or creating situations of violence - where hospitals and schools are
bombed, more situations that lead to refugees needing to flee and migrants needing to find
new homes, where nobody is persecuted for their faith, the colour of their skin, their gender,
the sexual orientation, the language they speak. It is respecting each other at home and in the
neighbourhood, it's listening to each other, and helping each other. This too is
peacemaking.
 Where those who are different to us, are seen as equal human beings, and we care for them
-because after bombing their homes, destroying their land, their waters, their air - we then
persecute and hate them if they come to our countries:~       
  You are to treat the resident alien in the same way as you treat the native born among you
-            love him like yourself since you were foreigners in the land of Egypt.   
Levitivus 19

Let's not be "us versus them", because that leads to hatred, to violence, it does not create 
peace. Let us learn to be peacemakers by simply being "us", all of us.

And it is a call to the church: the local congregations and the church nationally and world-wide,
to be safe havens for all people, where we don’t create more barriers, but break down the walls 

that separate, where we seek God's truth and love, which so often is more inclusive, more life
changing than our human version of love. Where we seek justice and pursue it. All this is what
peace
making is about, and what we have been called to be part of. I feel it's not an option but 

a sign of our discipleship. So this is a day full of new possibilities.                  Thanks be to God.