Summary: In Jesus’ teaching,happiness, blessedness and sonship to God are tied to peacemaking.
"Blessed are the Peacemakers"
When I was a boy, I was fascinated with guns, weaponry. My father taught me to respect guns and wildlife from the time I was very young. I believe I may have been six years old when he taught me to fire a rifle. I was younger than that when he began to teach me not to fear animals or people and to cherish all that God had made, even the dusty earth, the rocky creeks and rivers and especially the trees.
Like every young boy, I was fascinated with guns. Dad taught me well on my first BB gun, a Diasy, and then at age 12 a single shot rifle. He didn’t want me to have an automatic and shoot recklessly. He wanted me to learn to concentrate and be careful - to know what I was aiming at and not take chances.
But like every boy, I read about repeating rifles, and the variety of hand guns and explosives. I liked to watch things blow up with the 4th of July fire crackers and to break bottles and drive nails with my 22.
I read about a remarkable hand gun that was advertised as the gun that won the west - the Colt Peacemaker.
Of course that was not true - since the Colt 45 Single Action Rim Fire Gun and Cartridges were not put into service until 1873. The West had been won a long time before and most likely by men carrying single shot rifles, mostly muzzle loading muskets.
Colt, like other manufacturers of weaponry was and remains good at advertising and short on truth. Of course the gun-toting heros of Western movies always have a Colt six-shooter - so the legends live on.
A company named Sharps manufactured a heavy, 50 caliber single shot rifle that was used to harvest buffalo and clear the plains for raising cattle. This was before Winchester and Colt manufactured repeating rifles.
That is more than you probably wanted to know about guns. When I became a man, as St. Paul said, I put aside childish things. When I was in my 20’s I stopped hunting for sport, heeding my father’s injunction - only kill what you will eat and also in reaction to my enlarged consciousness that the earth is God’s creation and we were put here to tend it, not to blow things up for our amusement or personal profit.
Since I came to adulthood in the middle of the bloodiest century in human history, I had difficulty reconciling the Prince of Peace and Righteousness with the warmaking that was evidently honored, cherished and revered by the great powers on this earth.
How do we reconcile the Gentle Jesus with the world we saw in mid-20th century?
Blessed are the Meek - they shall inherit the earth said Jesus. A cynic in mid-20 th century, it may have been me who said, "Yeah, a 3X 6 plot of ground."
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." Each of the beatitudes applies to all of God’s people.
So Jesus is telling us this morning that He doesn’t just call parents, grandparents, adults, or adult singles to be peacemakers; His will is for all His children to be peacemakers. But you may wonder, what can a little child do?