Faith | Learning to be a Peacemaker in a world that loves War

I’m ran the slides at our Peace Week (our church’s version of Vacation Bible School) and it’s amazing how although these events are geared towards the kids, I personally get so much out of them. 

This year’s theme is Kids as Peacemakers, being a peacemaker in a world that inevitably seems to only want to go to war with it’s self.

War against people that don’t look like us, live where we live or worship differently.

War against nature.

War between families.

I believe we can be different and still love. I believe in loving neighbors who are different.

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”

Wendy Mass, The Candymakers

It’s far from easy to be a peacemaker, the kids are realizing that. It’s hard to be loving to someone when they call you names. Shout at you on the street and say mean things because of your skin color, hijab, or where you live or what kind of car your family drives.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons[a] of God.

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

-Matthew 5:8-10

This week the kids are learned that Peace means to:

Participate– it is not sitting on the sidelines and doing nothing it is an action word. It means to smile and help, offer a kind word and stand up for our friends.

Empathic– caring deeply for our friends & neighbors. Putting ourselves into their shoes showing kindness because we wouldn’t want to be treated that way. As one girl put it looking into your friend’s eyes & listening.

Advocacy– standing up for marginalized groups in love & support for what’s right even if it’s hard. We talked about standing up and inviting new friends and kids to play with them on the playground, and that including them helps them to feel about of the group. Standing up against bullies not by starting a fight but including friends and walking away from violence.

Community– loving and being involved in our community & celebrating our diversity & ability to care for one another because despite all our differences we are all humans & neighbors.

Empowerment– Encouraging one another to work hard.

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