Did you know there are TWO times in the New Testament where Jesus is recorded as having wept? Most people remember the more famous one when Jesus is overcome with emotion at the grave of his friend Lazarus. But the gospel of Luke tells of a second time when Jesus is again overcome with emotion.
In Luke chapter 19, as Jesus nears Jerusalem for the last time, he stops in the middle of his celebratory parade, often called the “triumphal entry”, to mourn the stubbornness, blindness, and confusion of the very people he had come to save.
“As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.’”
It goes without saying that the Middle East, both in Jesus’ day and in ours, is a region fraught with turmoil, injustice and hatred. A couple of years ago I had the luxury of traveling to Israel, Palestine and Jordan as part of a seminary study experience. As we passed through gates and walls dividing the region we studied the complex political climate and heard from groups and individuals who were attempting – despite their history – to be peacemakers. What struck me most about the above verse, as I became more familiar with the complexity of the situation in Jerusalem, was that the “way to peace” was hidden from my eyes.
Peace may be one of those odd things that is recognized more in its absence. And it certainly isn’t simply the lack of war. Peace is most noticeable at the end of a long day when one lays his or her head down to reflect and dream. Peace comes from knowing, and being known by, one’s friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, and God. Peace is found in meaningful work and on the other side of gratitude.
At Point, we have the unique opportunity to not only find peace in our work – whether that’s as a student working hard to finish your degree, a coach working hard to cultivate character among your players, or professors working to prepare your students to succeed in their field – we also have the opportunity to be peacemakers.
Today, know that our work is meaningful. Know that Jesus wants us to be at peace with one another, with God, and with ourselves. And that we are called to actually sow peace, be peacemakers, in our hallways, classrooms, dorms and communities. Remember Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
Today, greet each other with a sign of Christ’s peace.
Chris Beirne, Director of Student Life
Lord, grant us peace in our work, in our relationships, and in our world. Thank you for the incredible servants that you have assembled here at Point University. Teach us to be peacemakers today. May your peace, that passes all understanding, guard our hearts and minds today and always. Amen.