Blessed Are The Peacemakers

Kyle Bartholic   -  

Last Sunday, we celebrated baptisms, and we heard stories about how Jesus is changing lives, bringing healing, hope, comfort, and reordering priorities. We saw both in our text in Acts and in baptism that when the gospel is declared, it brings joy because it brings new life. This coming Sunday, we will see a second aspect that the gospel brings into our lives, that is, peace.


So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord

and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.

– Acts 9:31


What is unique is that the church, at this point, is walking through unbelievably turbulent times. Yes, things are exciting, and the church is growing. But, they are being persecuted, abused, and having to flee for their lives. In the midst of all that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, they experienced peace. Long before we entered 2020 and the subsequent turmoil our world and neighbors have experienced, the theologian Henri Nouwen wrote on the importance of being a peacemaker in this age.


Every one of the eight beatitudes that Jesus proclaimed in the Sermon on the Mount are for all people and for all times. But there are times in which one word speaks louder than another. In the 13th century Saint Francis brought to the foreground the blessing on the poor. In the 19th century many saints and visionaries called new attention to the blessing on the pure of heart. Clearly our century is the century of the peacemakers. Qoheleth[1] says: “there is a season for everything, a time… for keeping silent, a time for speaking… a time for war, a time for peace” (Ecc.3:7-8). If this century will be remembered, it will be remembered for those who gave themselves for the cause of peace.[2]


Here is the secret that the church in Acts experienced and we should pay attention to today; if we actually want to be peacemakers in our current context, we must declare the gospel. Why? Because only the gospel, through the power of the Holy Spirit and the love of the Father, has the power to bring peace. Even in the most turbulent times.


Indeed, blessed are the peacemakers. And peacemakers declare the gospel.



[1] Qoheleth is the Hebrew word for teacher. Here, Nouwen uses it to refer to the author of Ecclesiastes.

[2] Henri Nouwen, Seeds of Hope: Peacework (unpublished). (1997, p.228)