Friday, August 25, 2006

This week's Word & Way article

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9). It is the stock and trade of many politicians to seek to fan the flames of prejudice and hatred. The voice of peace and reason is often very lonely indeed. The peacemakers, who often falsely appear cowardly, are certainly not popular. Conversely, the passion included with those who ignite conflict is often admired. Jesus says blessed are the peacemakers, and I believe we ought see them as truly heroic.

Peace does not just happen. We enjoy fighting too much. We must make peace. We can use Jesus as an example. With his life and ministry he sought to make peace. Jesus’ whole ministry was about caring for the disenfranchised and oppressed; he brought those beaten down by a violent society together in him. Jesus constantly sought to provide acceptance for those wounded by the ones in power. All of this is peacemaking.

What is the task of peacemaking? It is the reconciliation of groups and persons at odds. It keeps the holy love of God central and in focus. It knows there can be no real peace until human beings are reconciled with God. Sometimes, peacemaking included bringing social injustice to light. Peacemaking never includes taking sides. Maybe most of all, peacemaking recognizes we have more important things to do than fight.

I count myself a child of God; when I am a peacemaker, I even look like one. Isn’t that a wonderful thought?

Grace and peace,

James

Friday, August 04, 2006

August ramblings...

Our VBS has been a wonderful week. Over 130 children attended this week, and around 60 workers helped to lead. Our parent's night last night was a success as well. Want to see some pictures from the week? Go to www.southwestbaptistchurch.org for a photo gallery.

Also, there is a very good article by Dr. Dalen Jackson on EthicsDaily.com regarding the role of women in ministry. He presents an honest and healthy hermenutic regarding the interpretation of scripture on this issue. Follow this link: http://www.ethicsdaily.com/article_detail.cfm?AID=7714.

Grace and peace,
James