Friday, March 13, 2015

An invitation

For Paul, we have seen, peace and peacemaking are constitutive of Jesus’ identity, his father’s identity, the Spirit’s identity, the kingdom’s identity, and the church’s identity. That is, the Triune God is the God of peace, and the peace of God is a fundamental mark of God’s reign and God’s people. To make peace, empowered by the Spirit and in the shape of the cross, is to be like Christ and thereby like God. It is to participate in the mission and identity or, better, the missional identity, of God. Paul is fully in sync, therefore, with the words of Jesus in Matthew: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matt 5:9, similar in vocabulary to Col 1:20). This Jesus is, for Paul, the Lord of peace, the one who made and who makes peace on behalf of the Father and in the power of the Spirit. Similarly, for Luke, Jesus is the one who inaugurates God’s reign of shalom and invites his followers, both before and after his nonviolent, peacemaking death, to follow in “the way”—the way of God, salvation, and peace: the way of Jesus himself.— The Death of the Messiah and the Birth of the New Covenant, page 201

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