And the effect of righteousness will be peace,

   And the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.

Isaiah 32: 17

This is a verse from a part of Isaiah where the prophet is describing how things will be when the Lord has returned and restored the land and its people to His desired state. His return is necessary, for peace is not something that we do a very good job of establishing on our own. In fact, I have confidence in saying that peace and its close corollary, peacemaking are not the sort of thing that most of us even place significant value upon. We might grant some form of honor to people who we say are going about the business of seeking after peace, but in fact, we are still mostly concerned with control and the power that grows out of that dominance. This world tends to view peace as something that is gained by virtue of force, conquest, superior might, high and strong fences, and by keeping those that we find uncomfortable or frightening at a seemingly safe distance.

Too much of the human concept of peacemaking is framed in by the approaches and the standards that are described above. None of this is in conformity with the way that God views the same topic. The Lord desires to draw close to all people, and He does not care about any of the concerns or issues that we use to define those who we would isolate or insulate ourselves away from. The Lord seeks after people who are distant or different from others, for there is no one on this earth that is not a part of His familial circle. God has poured out love, grace, mercy, and understanding upon all people, and He continues to treat each and every one of us in this manner for as long as we draw breath upon the earth. In all of this, Christ calls to His people to enter into the righteousness of peace. We are to be people who set aside all of the worldly ideas of what it means to be a peacemaker so that Christ’s love for others and His desire to care for their bodies, hearts, and souls can become our own calling.

We live in a time when the desperation and the struggles of a world that is sold out to gaining its form of peace through the utilization of force and dominance is the common theme. Most of our governments and the majority of our leaders are invested heavily in building up our arsenals of destructive weapons and of finding ways to utilize them to greatest possible effect in our quest for power and prominence. This is not the path of righteousness that Christ desires for us to follow, and it is not the way that He modeled for us to live, either. In the face of ultimate human power, Christ demonstrated complete submission to the Father’s will, and in the end our Lord prevailed absolutely over all the strength and the false might that this world could throw at Him. We do not yet live in the days that are to come when Christ will establish His redeemed kingdom upon this broken planet, but we can dwell in Christ’s presence every day of our lives, and we can be truly righteous by seeking to be peacemakers in every situation that we encounter. We can also speak forth Christ’s peace into our surroundings and promote the form of loving care and acceptance that Christ desires and that He calls out as righteous.