Season of Peace Reflection for 9/18

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Reflection: The church changed the nature of its peace witness in The Confession of 1967 in an affirmation that is central to the thinking of Peacemaking: The Believers’ Calling and that remains vital today:

God’s reconciliation in Jesus Christ is the ground of the peace, justice, and freedom among nations which all powers of government are called to serve and defend. The church, in its own life, is called to practice the forgiveness of enemies and to commend to the nations as practical politics the search for cooperation and peace. This search requires that nations pursue fresh and responsible relations across every line of conflict, even at risk to national security, to reduce areas of strife and to broaden international understanding. Reconciliation among nations becomes particularly urgent as countries develop nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, diverting their [hu]manpower and resources from constructive uses and risking the annihilation of [hu]mankind. Although nations may serve God’s purposes in history, the church which identifies the sovereignty of any one nation or any one way of life with the cause of God denies the Lordship of Christ and betrays its calling. (The Book of Confessions, Section 9.45)

Question for discernment: Peace efforts based in international law usually involve the United Nations to develop and implement diplomatic consensus, although NATO and other regional bodies are sometimes also involved. How important are efforts at international policing or humanitarian intervention, and how different are these from wars initiated by individual nations?

Prayer: Creator God, you are sovereign above all nations. We owe you our ultimate allegiance. As we pursue your Great Commission to make disciples of all nations, may we also pursue your Great Commandment, to love you and to love our neighbor, thereby encouraging international cooperation and peace.

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