By Mennonite Church USA staff
Peacemakers are most needed during times of uncertainty, fear and polarization.
The United States has been dealing with all three in 2020, exacerbated by a pandemic and the urgency surrounding the presidential election.
No one knows what will happen on or after Election Day. The heightened emotions and mistrust across the political spectrum make widespread violence seem more possible than in years past.
As followers of Jesus, what do we do in a time such as this?
Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
Our nation, states, cities and churches need peacemakers more than ever in the weeks and months ahead. Peacemakers do not hide safely behind the status quo, ignoring the rise of violence, while thanking God for personal safety. Peacemakers show up boldly with love and deepen relationships with those who are most vulnerable to bodily and systemic violence. Peacemakers consider the complexity of violence — that structural systems of oppression are already operating in violent ways. Peacemakers look at the roots of violence and join the work to seek transformative justice for all.God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
Peacemaking is what Jesus demonstrated through his life, death and resurrection. It is what Mennonites have claimed for centuries and often struggled to embody. Now is a time to be bold in our peacemaking. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7) We have a community of believers around us and the steadfast teachings of Jesus to guide us through these times.
During this time of uncertainty:
- We call on government and public safety officials to fulfill their obligation to offer equal protection and access to the voting process for all registered voters.
- We pray that all candidates and citizens honor the outcome of the election(s) and reject any violent reactions that bring harm to others if there are disputed results.
- We pray for a Spirit of Peace to hover over our nation, bringing a sense of deep spiritual strength and groundedness during this fragile moment.
We pray that our churches act as agents of healing through nonviolent witness and tangible acts of love and service – even to our enemies — living into our call as people of God’s peace.