"Blessed are the peacemakers for they are the children of God." (Matt. 5:9)
In an attempt to demonstrate religious devotion, it is easy and fairly common to outwardly represent one's faith. The bumper-stickers on the car, select clothing worn, the way the clothing is worn, quoting sacred text, and so on. There is nothing wrong with these representations of the faith! However, these outward representations by themselves fall short of the mark that is suppose to represent God and the realm of peace in which God exist.
The need for peacemakers becomes more real to me given the present social context of our country. There is a lot division, and inner angst in the hearts and minds of citizens. There is also a supercharged zeal characterized by folks representing their faith in ways that are hostile and violently adversarial to those who differ from what they believe to be true.
Jesus understood that one evidences who they truly are in their daily life and social environment. There is a unique opportunity to make peace all around us!
Through my contemplative practice, I have been able to give myself the reflective space to recognize the opportunities around me to be a peacemaker. I recognize that a lot of division and conflict occur as a result of my own immediate knee-jerk reactions. It's tunnel vision that only lets me zero-in on points where I am at odds with an individual or situation. The benefit and beauty of a regular contemplative practice is that it gives me the momentum to recognize peacemaking opportunities and to see much broader as God sees. In turn, others recognize and experience me as a peacemaker.