SUNDAY, MAY 19, 2013
A WORKER AS AGENT OF PEACE
PEACE is an essential ingredient, Jesus was aware of this and He said to His disciples as mentioned above, that by this attitude you make people receptive of the gospel message. The Bible spoke severally about peace – Mark 4: 35-39 where Jesus calmed the storm, in the beatitudes Matt. 5:9, ‘blessed are the peace makers for they shall be called sons of God,’ in His farewell address to His disciples “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you…” (Jn.14:27). His peace is much more profound, healing, strengthening, and lasting than anything the world can offer, when He was raised, Luke 24:36, ‘peace be with you’ He said. St Paul also added his own voice by saying this peace is the shalom of God, it “passes all understanding” and “will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7). Therefore, it is a supernatural peace, a spiritual completeness, an abundance of grace, an interior rest.
In any work of mission, we need peace for growth, development and soul-winning. We also need men and women of peace in the church of God. It is true, Tella, Awoyele and Alali (1991) said: ‘where two or more persons interact for a longer time, conflict is inevitable’. But as people of God, we need to ensure that peace reigns in our Stations, Parishes, and Archdeaconries, even in our Dioceses too.
It is possible that the devil may be using some people in the language of the ‘politicians’ to heat up the polity, cause confusion in different locations but this should not be so. Jesus was conscious about those who promote peace and not those who cause confusion. When you enter a house (a parish or a church station) and you meet a man of peace, say peace be to him and his household and then settle down to do the work of evangelisation.
Jesus is the Prince of Peace and those who follow Him in the work of mission should also emulate Him in their preaching and teaching ministry. It is always a thing of joy travelling to Jerusalem as a pilgrim to hear the word shalom – peace to remind us that nations of the world need peace for any meaningful development to be recorded. Pilgrims are usually called upon to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and the peace of their nations.
Remember, when there are crises, the work of mission is greatly slowed down. In Nigeria, we are seeing the implication, bombing here and there, violence, and dislodging of communities by people who are instruments in the hands of the devil. May God deliver this nation from enemies of progress in Jesus name. Amen!
We have been chosen as instrument of peace in the world today. However, it is said ‘in a work you never did, God will give you the strength you never had’. But what does the Bible say to the child of God: Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it-Psalm 34:14; 1 Pet. 3:11.
During Holy Communion services in the Anglican Church, believers are called upon to share peace together: ‘let us offer one another a sign of peace’. Although, shameful at a particular communion service, at the time of sharing of peace, one brother avoided another because according to him their matter on land disputation was still in court. People should be made to understand, according to Timothy, ‘Afterall, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it’, 1 Tim. 6:7. Even the statement of King Solomon should teach us a lesson: ‘Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity’, Eccl. 1:2.
Let me ask, do we gain anything from crisis? Therefore, any genuine child of God, ordained or un-ordained should seek peace and pursue it. People of God should do all within their powers to leave at peace with one another in different church congregations. A song says ‘if Jesus the Prince of peace is in a family, happy, happy home. But when Satan the author of confusion is in the family or a church, trouble, trouble all the way.’
Truly, we need Jesus today to help us achieve peace in our work and ministry. Revelation 3:20 says to us: ‘Here, I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me’. Let us give Jesus the Prince of Peace a chance to come into our lives.VEN. ERNEST ONUOHA Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.