“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
So I’m probably going to get in trouble for this–no, I’m definitely going to get in trouble for this. I CANNOT help whenever I hear this verse to think about Monty Python’s “Life of Brian.” There. I said it. I’m going to get kicked out of my church.
Wait, there’s more. I actually LOVE the one line that Brian gives on the Sermon on the Mount (yes…yes it’s the only line I like in the movie. All the rest are terrible and the whole movie should be condemned by the Catholic church. Oh, wait, it is.
At the Sermon on the Mount there are many people and ironically, a bit of a fight ensues. Mrs. Gregory can’t hear what Jesus is saying over the people bickering. She has this short exchange with a spectator in front of her:
Spectator I: I think it was “Blessed are the cheesemakers“.
Mrs. Gregory: Aha, what’s so special about the cheesemakers?
Mr. Gregory: Well, obviously it’s not meant to be taken literally; it refers to any manufacturers of dairy products.
See, this is great– it is SO like us! We are so terribly worried that someone is getting something that we think we should have that we tend to do two things–first, obviously, we get upset and start arguing that that special group shouldn’t receive whatever they are getting, and second, we start reinterpreting the information for our own benefit.
Mr. Gregory quickly jumps to the conclusion that it isn’t just one group of people AKA the cheesemakers who are bless, but ‘really’ what he meant to say, was any manufacturer of dairy products.
Jesus DID say, “blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” We sometimes like to reinterpret that he really meant, “any manufacturer of non-war-making material.” It isn’t that we have to actually be peacemakers, just not war-makers. Or we can be peacemakers with our friends, or our family, or just people we like, or just people who can give us something that we want/need.
We try to explain our actions away by saying, “that person was mean,” or “they are being stubborn so I really don’t have to make peace with them,” but really, that isn’t what he said. I looked in all the versions on BibleGateway.com (okay, maybe not all. Apparently there are over 100 versions in 50 languages and some of the languages won’t even work on my computer…)
Матей 5:9 (1940 Bulgarian Bible)
Блажени миротворците, защото те ще се нарекат Божии чада.
None of them listed any caveats about selecting when to be peacemakers. I believe he meant everyone. All the time. Even if they are mean, don’t agree with us, or aren’t someone we particularly like.
Frustrating isn’t it. Something that is both exceedingly simple and practically impossible at the same time. I guess He thinks we’re up to the challenge.
A women in one of my bible study classes said something about dealing with an EGR. I questioned what an EGR was, and she replied, “Oh, those are my Extra Grace Required people. EGRs.” It was SO awesome. I realized if you (me) find yourself dealing with someone and are NOT feeling very peaceful towards him, if you (I) are able to mentally acknowledge that they are an EGR, it suddenly defuses some of the stress from a situation and allows you (me) to focus a little more on what he or she is saying. Suddenly, it isn’t all about me (well it is, but that’s another entry). The other fabulous conclusion that she and I came to when speaking about the EGRs that WE have to deal with, is that we–and you, Gentle Reader, are somebody’s EGR.
Blessed are the peacemakers…even if they are speaking with EGRs.