BLESSED are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Matthew 5:9

THE FOLLOWERS of Jesus have been called to peace. When he called them they found their peace, for he is their peace. But now they are told that they must not only have peace but make it. And to that end they renounce all violence and tumult.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

NOW PEACEMAKING is a divine work. For peace means reconciliation, and God is the author of peace and of reconciliation. … It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the particular blessing which attaches to peacemakers is that "they shall be called sons of God." For they are seeking to do what their Father has done, loving people with his love.
John R. W. Stott, The Message of the Sermon on the Mount

BEING a peacemaker is part of being surrendered to God, for God brings peace. We abandon the effort to get our needs met through the destruction of enemies. God comes to us in Christ to make peace with us; and we participate in God's grace as we go to our enemies to make peace.
Glen H. Stassen and David P. Gushee, Kingdom Ethics

[N]O ONE has ever been converted by violence.
Jim Forest, The Ladder of the Beatitudes

[MANY CHRISTIANS] demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. … I haven't heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, be posted anywhere. "Blessed are the merciful" in a courtroom? "Blessed are the peacemakers" in the Pentagon?
Kurt Vonnegut, "Cold Turkey," In These Times

MAKING PEACE makes us God's children—and kin to each other.
Michael H. Crosby, Spirituality of the Beatitudes

THE PEACE intended is not merely that of political and economic stability, as in the Greco-Roman world, but peace in the Old Testament inclusive sense of wholeness, all that constitutes well-being. … The "peacemakers," therefore, are not simply those who bring peace between two conflicting parties, but those actively at work making peace, bringing about wholeness and well-being among the alienated.
Robert A. Guelich, Sermon on the Mount: A Foundation for Understanding

[PEACEMAKERS] are honored insofar as they speak about peace as something already victoriously won that we can celebrate as part of our glorious past or as something that will be won in the other world. They continue to be dishonored insofar as they continue to point out injustice, hypocrisy, and suffering. They are noble when their actions bring to light problems far away from us; they are an odious nuisance when they point out our own sins.
Thomas Trzyna, Blessed Are the Pacifists



Related Elsewhere:

Previous Reflections columns include several about Advent and Christmas. Other Reflections on the Beatitudes include:

Blessed Are the Pure in Heart (November 12, 2007)
Blessed Are the Merciful (October 15, 2007)
Blessed Are Those Who Hunger (September 10, 2007)
Blessed Are the Meek (August 7, 2007)
Blessed Are Those Who Mourn (July 17, 2007)
Poor in Spirit (June 27, 2007)

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.