Blessed Are The Peacemakers

Published 7:00 am Saturday, May 4, 2024

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The Jimmy Carter administration faced a number of challenges, but arguably the high-water mark of achievement was the Camp David Peace Accords between Egypt and Israel.

Carter invited Prime Minister Menachem Begin and President Anwar Sadat to the presidential retreat to discuss some 50 issues remaining from the war of 1967. The anticipated several days became nearly two weeks and was beset with problems. Both men grew angry and threatened to leave. Carter summoned Vice President Walter Mondale to Camp David on Day 10 to help him decide how to terminate the talks without political fall-out.

But agreement came on Day 13—a peace treaty that remains.

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Addressing the U.S. Congress, Carter honored his two guests in the gallery and quoted scripture, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.”

In 1981, Sadat first visited Great Britain, and then came to the USA where he talked with a new American president, Ronald Reagan. Then he traveled to the tiny hamlet of Plains, Ga. to visit his friend, Jimmy Carter.

The citizens of Plains made Aug. 9 “Sadat Day.” The Egyptian president was greeted by a delegation from Georgia sister city, Cairo (though the Georgians pronounce it “KAY-ro”). A good time was had by all.

However, eight weeks later, President Sadat was assassinated in Cairo, Egypt at age 62.

Making peace in our broken world can be tough.

Kipling wrote, “Men are like islands, and we shout to each other across seas of misunderstanding.”

Yet Jesus called his disciples to peacemaking.

Immediately there’s a debate about pacifism. Some Christians, including our Anabaptist ancestors, committed to pacifism. However, Martin Luther and others argued for the “just war.” This happens, Luther said, when our families are threatened with harm and we’ve exhausted all means to resolution.

But it’s also true that peacemaking doesn’t just happen on the world stage. Peacemaking begins in our backyards.

The apostle Paul exhorted Roman Christians, “If it be possible, live in peace with all men” (Romans 15:18).

Writer Ken Sande told about meeting two Christian men who had terrible disagreement. As a last resort they agreed to sit with him. Sande asked, “What in this disagreement will bring honor to God?” He was met with silence, for the men knew the only way God was to be honored was through reconciliation.

Jesus pronounced a two-fold blessing on the peacemakers. First, they will be awarded happiness. They will be “blessed,” as the familiar beatitude states.

But he also asserted that they would be known as God’s children.

Children bear resemblance to their parents through DNA and chromosomes.

Christians of good will demonstrate they’re in the spiritual family of God the Father and his son, Jesus.

“Reflections” is a weekly faith column written by Michael J. Brooks, pastor of the Siluria Baptist Church, Alabaster, Alabama. The church’s website is