Ezekiel 37:24-28, Romans 12:9-18, Hebrews 12:7-15
“I will make a covenant of peace with them…”
“Live in harmony with one another…”
“If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peach with everyone.”
“Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness—without it no one will see the Lord.”
When God speaks to Ezekiel, the consequences of living a life outside of and away from God are showing up to the Israelites, and it is not a pretty picture. Something to understand throughout Ezekiel is that while the consequences of not living life with God is bad, God promises hope. Especially a hope which cannot be earned. God makes the new covenant of peace.
We, too, have a covenant with peace to live out. It is the covenant of peace with others. In Romans 12, Paul is talking specifically about the peace between members of the Christian framily. However, this peace is supposed to also spill out into our relationships outside of the church framily.
The author of Hebrews, however, makes what can be chilling ties to peace with others: holiness and divine life. Mercifully, the author of Hebrews uses the word “pursue.” Other translations have it as “strive for” or “chase after.” As we read yesterday, peace requires effort.
Peace and holiness are tied together by the author of the Hebrews. This is not unreasonable, as the ultimate peace is given by God who is holy. The importance of living at peace with one another—especially, but not exclusively, in the church framily—cannot be overstated. If the Children of God are not at peace with one another, what kind of peace can they share with others?
1) What does it mean to you that “no one will see the Lord” when it comes to being at peace with one another and holiness?
2) Is being at peace with one another important to you? Why or why not?
KD) We all struggle with being at peace with one another. Are you pursuing peace with others? What are you willing to give up to have peace?