The Oasis - January 10, 2024

Author: Rev. Eric Dupee
January 11, 2024

            If you’ve worshipped in person since September, you may know we’ve had what I’m calling a “memory verse” on the cover of the Sunday bulletin. The idea is that if we make the effort to memorize one key verse from scripture each month, by the end of the year, we will be better acquainted with the word of God and the wisdom of our religious tradition and therefore, better equipped to face the challenges of life.
            For the month of January, I’ve chosen one of the Beatitudes from the teachings of Jesus compiled in the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9). It was once pointed out to me there is a difference between peacekeepers and peacemakers. Peacekeeping can imply avoiding conflict or confrontation. Airing grievances and working through differences of opinion, in respectful ways, are often necessary to maintain healthy individuals, families, or communities. Trying to keep the peace, at all costs, can allow relatively small problems to become much larger.
            On the other hand, peacemakers actively work towards peace. The call to be peacemakers reflects Jesus’ broader message of love, compassion, and forgiveness. It means actually promoting harmony and reconciliation, rather than providing the appearance of harmony when it doesn’t actually exist. According to Jesus, peacemakers will enjoy a special relationship with the divine, they will be called “children of God.”
            Today, I pray for those people trying to promote peace in the war-torn places of our world. I pray that each one of us can be instruments of God’s peace in our families, in our church, and in our communities. We might be scared, or intimidated by our efforts to be peacemakers, but I trust we will be blessed.

A prisoner of hope,


Ps. See the announcement regarding the Worship Workshop and consider joining us tonight at 7pm at the church.

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