Pondering for Sunday, January 29, 2023

Eucharistic Readings for the 4th Sunday of Epiphany: Year A

Micah 6:1-8; Psalm 15; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; Matthew 5:1-12

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5: 9)

While I have talked about the Peacemakers before, I really ponder about what it takes to be one who seeks peace among all people.  We probably need more ears than voices.  We need people who will listen to what we and others have to say rather than to voice “or force” solutions to situations we really don’t fully understand.

We have just suffered the murder of a man (Tyre Nichols) in Memphis, Tennessee by Memphis police officers.  These Memphis police persons were not peace keepers in the biblical sense. And were certainly not acting as children of God. Can they be forgiven?  Of course.  I have to say that because all things are possible with God. I ponder if these officers ever read our reading for today where Micah says we are to “do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8). The greater question is, how do we prevent this kind of loss from reoccurring?

If some of you will recall, I took a break from my blog last February due to the loss of two of my grandsons from two different daughters living in Memphis, Tennessee. For me it raises the question of “what’s not happening in Memphis?”  Is there anyone teaching peace and compassion there? Where are the preachers and fathers from whom good police persons are to come?  I have learned from my bible studies that one of the first words uttered upon receiving someone or entering someone’s home is, “Do you come in peace?:” and, “Peace be to this house and all who dwell therein,” respectively.  Peace, as understood to be civility, should always be the first conditions sought.

If we have peace, we will hear the other and gain some understanding of their situation.  Following Matthew’s Be-attitudes, being the peacekeepers are preceded by mercy and pureness of heart. If the Memphis police persons were taught by pastors and parents to be merciful with loving hearts perhaps they would have sought peace first, and thus truly be children of God.

This lesson applies to all of us everywhere.  We must seek peace with mercy always, and in every encounter where we engage with people.

Please keep up your thoughts and prayers and hopes for Ukraine.

As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love and serve, and to teach others to love and serve, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John

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