READING OF THE LAW: Psalm 34:11-14. "The Duty To Pursue Peace" - Here, David tells us how we are to live in peace. We are not to speak evil. We are not to deceive others. We are not to act in an evil manner toward others. We are, instead, to seek out peace, pursuing it and chasing it down. Our motivations are twofold. One, we act out of fear and reverence for God. God commands us to live, as much as is within us, in peace with everyone. Two, we act out of our own self-interest. The selfish and self-protected life that attacks others is not a peaceful life. We are obligated to pursue peace.
READING OF THE GOSPEL: Romans 5:1. "Peace With God". Being justified is to be declared righteous, treated as if we were righteous (though we are great sinners) due to Christ's work. Because God treats us as if we were righteous, we are no longer condemned or in fear of being expelled from His presence. Rather, we are loved and taken in, so that God is not at war with us, nor condemning us. We are at peace with God through Christ.
SERMON: Blessed Are The Peacemakers - Matthew 5:9 "Peace" - Peace is not merely the cessation of hostilities, but the bringing together of two parties which formerly were at enmity or war. God makes peace with His elect by choosing them, sending His Son to redeem them, and sending His Spirit to bring them to repentance toward Him. By these acts, God reconciles us to Himself. Those, then, who are God's children are like their Father, seeking to create or preserve unity, even with those who are our enemies.