Working for peace
1 Thessalonians 5: 12-14
12 But we appeal to you, brothers and sisters, to respect those who labour among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you; 13 esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the faint-hearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them.
We are continually reminded in Scripture to work for peace in every situation. Our calling as God’s people is to be peacemakers. Often within the church a few individuals can be so disruptive that they create disharmony and unease and the peace is broken.
In our reading today Paul urges us all to take responsibility as a community and to warn off those who seek to undermine church harmony. However in doing so, we need to be careful that we don’t stifle genuine concerns. Everyone needs to be free to speak their mind, without fear or favour, in order to build up the Kingdom of God. When we do we must do it in a spirit of love to restore unity.
Teach us Prince of Peace
To be peacemakers.
Show us how we can act collectively for peace
Give to each of us wisdom to know when to speak
And courage to stand with those who have spoken out for justice
Close down the gossip factories in our towns and communities
And help us to construct bridges of reconciliation
Where friends and enemies can meet and walk together
Restore Oh Lord the unity of your people.