Becoming a Person of Peace
Prior to working with Micah I used to carry out accountability audits. I remember interviewing a CEO for a justice organisation who shared that she had an “open door” policy for all her staff and they were free to come in and see her and seek help at any time. On interviewing the staff I was informed that the CEO was very hard to approach, never had time for them and was really inaccessible.
At our Global Consultation Johannes Reimer shared some insights into why it is important that we become people of peace. This devotion explores some of the points he raises, plus challenges to consider if we are people of peace – do others see this in us?
Luke 10:5-6 – “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you.”
In aid and mission organisations, this verse has been used to develop a strategy which seeks out a person of peace or a person who is respected in the community as they can be a key into the community to bring about change. When reading this verse carefully, the point to note is that the peace actually came from the disciple. Jesus commanded his disciples to offer peace.
The disciple is the person on peace, offering peace to the household. They had a mission of peace.
Jesus came into the world as the Prince of Peace and calls us to follow him in his mission of Shalom. (Luke 4:18-19) The apostle Paul unpacks this further in Ephesians 2:14-20 (take a moment to read this passage carefully). We have been given a ministry of reconciliation – to bring Shalom to all (2 Cor 5: 18-20). Christians have tended to focus on inner peace, but the Shalom that Jesus is talking about is both external and internal peace, which means we have a message of peace with regards to violence and war.
How do have a ministry of reconciliation, a message of peace, if we ourselves are not people of peace?
When Jesus meets his disciples after the resurrection (John 20:19-23), he grants the disciples two things before he sends them out as the Farther had sent him:
1) He grants them peace
2) He fills them with his Holy Spirit
Being granted peace is essential but it means that we have to deal with any prejudices, anger, hatred, conflict that is within our own lives.
One of the main reasons why Micah has been promoting the reconciliation and healing ethnics wounds ministry is to enable us as believers to become people of peace in and through all we do and say. Healed and renewed people bring healing and renewal.
Let’s invite Jesus to be the Prince of Peace in our lives, to give us his peace, to lay down all our own prejudices, conflicts and hatreds and to be filled with his Spirit.
People around us will begin to notice and we can start to offer peace to others.
I hope and pray that we not only have an open door policy, but that people also perceive that we are people of peace and are drawn into the Shalom we are living out.
To hear the whole of Johannes Reimer’s session on becoming a person of peace, see the Micah DVD from the Global Consultation which will be available from December.