gospel of peace

Continuing to reflect around 9/11 and violence, I came across this passage that illuminates any discussion around the role of peace in Christianity: 

“It is important to see how this ‘peacemaking’ work of the cross - reconciling Jews and Gentiles and creating one new humanity - is not just a by-product of the gospel, but is at the heart of the gospel itself (Eph. 3:6). Paul includes it in the work of the cross. In other words, Paul is not merely saying that now that lots of individual sinners of different nations have got saved and are on their way to heaven, they really ought to try to get on with each other in the meantime. He is saying that the creation of a new humanity is the good news that Christ came to accomplish. ‘Peace’ is part of the good news - exactly as Isa. 52:7 announced. And Paul says that Jesus is our peace, made peace, and preached peace” (C. Wright, The Mission of God's People).

Good news indeed!

How beautiful on the mountains
   are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
   who bring good tidings,
   who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
   “Your God reigns!”
Is. 52:7

  • Do you view peace - on small and large scales - as merely an 'extra' part of Christian belief? Or is peace, as Jesus asserts and models, central to the gospel and our lives? 
  • And, how do we balance peace while being realistic about suffering and violence and the pursuit of justice?


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