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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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The pursuit of peace

12 steps of peacemaking can make your faith more than just talk

When two warring countries come to a peace table, we celebrate their courageous act of laying down weapons to make peace. But are we eager to make peace in our lives? Are we open to making peace when the warring factions are groups in our neighborhoods, churches and communities? And what about our lingering family feuds that make holiday gatherings uncomfortable?

In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), Jesus invites us into a radical way of living that expresses the kingdom of God breaking into the world through our actions. Jesus challenges us to pursue peace. This is quite different from pursuing happiness, which is considered the God-given right of every American. Jesus teaches that the rule of God is a place of peace, and the way to that place is marked by humility, mourning, meekness, hunger, thirst, pure hearts, mercy and persecution ( Matthew 5:1-12).


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