“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
James reminds us that it is not only the physical gardens in our life that need attention, but the spiritual ones as well. Even before you begin to plant, you must prepare the soil of your garden. You must till it, remove rocks, fertilize it, and hoe it before any seeds are sown. And seeds must be sown if we have any hope of a harvest.
James says that if you want to have a harvest of righteousness in your life and in your church, you first must sow peace. But peace is not always easy. Peace takes work and it costs you something. Peace is not compromise, for in a compromise neither party is happy with the results. Rather peace is a true resolution of the issues between the parties and a coming together. Jesus was the greatest peacemaker of all. He brought peace between a rebellious people and a holy God. Yet, for this to happen, it cost him his life on the cross.
Sometimes, as we work the soil in preparation for planting, we can get frustrated and tired, yet we do not begrudge the crop when it finally comes in. Let’s look at the church in the same way. Sometimes sowing peace in a church or a community costs us sweat, tears, and blood. Yet, there is a harvest that is awaiting us. Sometimes God will bless us here in the church, getting to see lives changed and renewed. But, even if this is not God’s will, there is a time of Glory waiting for us in Heaven and there is a new creation that is coming when the evil will be finally judged and the harvest of righteousness will be more abundant than we can imagine.