The God of Peace

A minister has an awareness that every member of his circle of constituents checks on him, some constructively, some critically. I had one most unusual one few knew of.

I had a caller who identified himself as Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr. His wife had been shot and killed while playing the organ during a worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church. He said, “Since Mama was killed there I can’t go back there any more. From now on you are going to be my preacher.” He became a close friend and an ardent follower. Most Mondays he would call and express appreciation for my message and give me an honest appraisal of it. Objective honesty involved occasional constructive and helpful criticism. Never really negative, just loving insight. 

I’ve never told that story and I doubt he ever mentioned it. It was a bond I will never forget. There were many things that could have caused an estrangement. We had many differences, but one thing forged a friendship. It was the mutual faith we had in Jesus Christ that enabled us to love each other.

Such a relationship between all races could change culture.

Two commonalities exist. 

First, we are ALL “created in the image of God.”

Second, we are ALL “of one blood.”

That one size fits all model gives enough of a basis for getting along.

It is ideologies that separate us. It is a sad reality that some are held so strongly and with wrath it is impossible to placate them. They refuse to agree or compromise; they are inflexible.

However, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” (Romans 12:18) That is, do “All your part is to be at peace.”

It is impossible to appease or pacify, especially by concessions or conciliatory gestures by some people. It is impossible to placate an outraged citizenry.

Still, do your part to mitigate, that is, to lessen in force or intensity, as wrath, grief, harshness, or pain; moderate. Do all you can to make the relationship less severe. 

Don’t wait for the mail carrier to deliver you a lifetime exemption from problems certificate. In the vernacular, “It ain’t going to happen.” 

If on occasion you fail, and  you will, everyone does, get up, brush yourself off, and resolutely determine to enthusiastically and optimistically carry on.

Even when you have not mollified the situation there is victory to be enjoyed so, “Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” (II Corinthians 13:11)

Repeat, “the God of love and peace will be with you.”