Brevity (DOP #20 2014)

I don’t particularly care for the word blessed.  It fits well into this category of words that I consider “christianese”, a dialect of English spoken by regular church attenders.  It is rarely used outside of a religious social group, and it just has this…feeling…I don’t care for.  It’s just so schmaltzy and broadly applied.  I struggle to take someone seriously when they tell me that “something really blessed them”.  It isn’t that they don’t mean it, but that I don’t really know what the word means.  It’s the kind of word that finds its way into poorly produced religious films as a description of some emotion or feeling that is poorly defined and portrayed by the actors.  It leaves me wondering what if the film’s director had worked himself into a corner and needed a way out of it.

So when Jesus tells us in Matthew 5 that the peacemakers are blessed, I haven’t really understood why that was a good thing.  Couldn’t Jesus assure the peacemakers something more tangible, perhaps something like “The peacemaker will be highly regarded by his peers, and they will turn to him for advice.”?  Instead Jesus chooses to use the word blessed, which I just don’t have a grasp on.

The dictionary gives about 12 variations of a definition, and the one that I guess I hope applies to this passage is the following:  Bless- “To endow with a particular cherished thing or attribute”.   This leaves me asking what attribute or cherished thing is being endowed on the peacemaker.

Ultimately I think our biggest clue is found in the rest of the passage in Matthew.  “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

If being someone who pursues peace is the mark of a child of God, then I am overjoyed to consider it my duty to bring peace into situations where there once was none.


#25 Days of Peace (An Introduction)