This week’s sermon reference: James 3:12-18 (Two Kinds of Wisdom)
My son’s job as an EMT recently reminded me that there are people who are tasked with moving toward trouble rather than away from it. While called to the scene of an auto accident, Erik was put in danger by a runaway truck that narrowly missed the accident vehicles as well as the emergency personnel that were tending to the chaos.
Peacemakers like my son are a rare breed. They come into a scene of conflict and chaos and inject clear thinking, firm but servant-oriented influence. At the same time they face the very real prospect that their efforts will be turned away or rejected. Then the peacemakers must go home and decompress from the insanity of chaos and live a normal life. A rare breed indeed.
James’ admonitions found in chapter 3 invite all disciples to see themselves as peacemakers in a world addicted to confusion and dissension. People of faith, by nature, should test their ambitions and interests in order to regularly be convinced that they are, in fact, part of the solution to peace rather than disturbers of it.
Withdrawing and moving to some metaphorical mountain wilderness and taking pot shots at a world gone mad has no place in the Christian ethic. Neither does running into the middle of the conflicts of life and acting like the essential ingredient. Christ has done that and it is our task to provide the peace and calm of a balm applied into the life of the hurting.