Summary: In this sermon we look at the call to peacemaking, the need for peacemaking and the how of peacemaking.
A. The story is told of a young girl who was working so diligently on her homework that her father became curious and asked her what she was doing.
1. She said, “I’m writing a report on how to bring peace to the world.”
2. Humored by this, her father smiled and said, “Well, isn’t that a pretty tall order for one little girl?”
3. “Oh, no. Don’t worry.” She replied. “There are three of us in my class working on it.”
B. It’s easy to be naïve about peace and peacemaking, but peace can be a very elusive thing and can be as temporary as something drawn in the sand.
1. Everybody likes the idea of peace in the abstract, but when it comes to doing concrete things that will lead to peace, that’s when we face resistance.
2. Here’s how I would like us to approach our lesson this morning: I want us to talk about:
a. The Call for Peacemaking
b. The Need for Peacemaking.
c. The How of Peacemaking.
I. The CALL for Peacemaking.
A. Being a peacemaker in a world of troublemakers is a tall order, but it is the call of Christ.
1. In the great sermon of Jesus called the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus laid out a series of characteristics for his followers that we call the Beattitudes – “the attitudes to be.”
2. One of those attitudes is: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Mt. 5:9) (TNIV)
3. The old statement, “Like parent, like child” is so true – and his is so important with God.
4. Our heavenly Father and our spiritual Brother, Jesus, are peacemakers.
5. What greater compliment can be given than that we resemble the heavenly family?
6. We are most like God when we are behaving in a way that brings peace to people and between people.
B. Here are a few other passages that challenge us to be peacemakers:
1. Paul wrote, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” (Rom. 14:19)
2. Romans 12:18 is another good one, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
3. How about Hebrews 12:14, “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy.”
C. So we see from these verses that we are called to be peacemakers and to live at peace with others.
1. Let’s talk for a few minutes about the need for peacemaking.
II. The NEED for Peacemaking
A. I don’t think that it’s possible to overstate the need for peace and for peacemaking.
1. That’s true for race relations and for relations between nations.
2. That’s certainly true for families and marriages.
3. And since this weekend is devoted to our young people – let’s emphasize the need for peacemaking between children and teens – in our schools, neighborhoods, and even in our churches.
B. I don’t know if you pay attention to the news, but lately the news has been filled with stories about conflict among teenagers.
1. Let me share a few of these stories that illustrate the kind of peacemaking that is needed.
C. In October of last year, we first heard about the story of Michael Brewer, the Florida 15 year-old who was burned by bullies.
1. Michael’s troubles started when another 15 year-old, named Matthew Brent, gave him a video game and expected to be paid $40.
2. Unfortunately, Michael never paid Matthew the money he owed him.
3. So what did Matthew do? He stole a $500 custom bike that belonged to Michael’s father.
4. Michael reported the theft and Matthew was arrested.
5. Matthew, then, gathered four of his friends, and went to find Michael to get some revenge.
6. They found Michael by the pool of an apartment complex, so they doused him with rubbing alcohol and set him on fire.
7. Michael likely saved his own life by jumping into the pool to put out the flames, but he was still burned over 65% of his body.
8. The five boys have been charged with aggravated battery, and the one who used the lighter is charged with second-degree attempted murder.
9. Just think how that situation could have been avoided by a peacemaker who sowed peace.
D. Ironically, our second story also comes from Florida and from the very same school.
1. It is the story of Josie Ratley, the 15 year-old girl who was almost beaten to death by another teenager, named Wayne Treacy.
2. It all started when Josie’s 13 year-old friend Kayla, borrowed her cell phone to text her boyfriend, Wayne.