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Kingdom Practice: Everyday Peacemakers

Introduction.  This week we are practicing peacemaking.  Jon Huckins, our guest speaker, and co-founder of the Global Immersion Project, defined peacemaking as the restoration of harmony between us and God, us and ourselves, us and each other, and us and creation.  Using the story of the Good Samaritan, Jon taught us the following practices to equip us for peacemaking in our world:

See.  Pay attention to the humanity and plight of those we encounter and learn to see every person as an image-bearer of God.

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Immerse.  Move toward the center of the plight or conflict in order to seek to understand and find healing.

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Contend.  Engage in the plight or conflict with transforming initiatives (creative ways that allow the other to flourish).

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Restore.  Join God in His work to holistically repair all relationships.

Peacemaking. This week, let’s engage in peacemaking through action and contemplation…

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<<Action>>

Practice one or more of the following practices Jon suggested in his teaching.

(1) See.  Walk around your neighborhood with your phone or camera and take pictures of the things you see that are beautiful and the things you see that are broken.

(2) Immerse.

  • Move toward the person you typically try to avoid because they are difficult or annoying and engage them in conversation or have a meal with them.
  • Identify a broken relationship in your life and identify the first step to immersing yourself in the conflict.

(3) Contend.

  • With a few friends, identify an area of brokenness in the world and together, pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you in how you might contend for the flourishing of that issue, and then take a first step.
  • Identify a broken relationship in your life and take the first step to contend for the flourishing of that relationship.

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<<Contemplation>>

In your quiet time with God, practice Lectio Divina through the story of the Good Samaritan.  Here is one way to engage through the passages listed in the Daily Scripture Reading section below.

Read. Read the passage once slowly.
Listen. Sit silently for a minute, paying attention to the words or phrases that stand out.

Read. Read the passage a second time slowly.
Listen. Prayerfully ask God in what way those words and phrases apply in your life.  Sit in silence and listen for 1-2 minutes.

Read. Read the passage a third time, again slowly.
Listen. Prayerfully ask God whether there is an action or invitation for you.  Sit in silence and listen for two minutes without trying to figure anything out.  Just listen.

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Daily Scripture Reading

Monday: Luke 10:25-28
Tuesday: Luke 10:27-29
Wednesday:  Luke 10:30-32
Thursday: Luke 10:33-35
Friday: Luke 10:36-37
Saturday: Luke 10:25-37

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Additional Resources

Book:  Jon Huckins, Thin Places: Six Postures for Creating and Practicing Missional Community.

Video:  http://vimeo.com/9227554  

Article: Jon Huckins, Fatalities of Prejudice

 

Join the discussion 12 Comments

  • Scott G says:

    Had coffee last night with one of my difficult persons ( it was NOT Aaron) – went well and another time set on the calendar – grateful!

    • Aaron Niequist says:

      Scott,

      I’m glad to hear that I’m the SECOND most difficult person in your life! After your first round of conversations, I’ll be expecting your call! (Ha)

      But seriously, encouraged to hear that you took the step last night.

      So glad you’re a part of this tribe…

      Aaron

  • This weekend I was excited to have a friend from another church join me. She is normally doing activities at her church on Sunday nights, but was available this weekend. She loved it. Together we went and visited a homeless friend after our prayer group on Tuesday night. He ended up joining me at midweek this week. He absolutely loved the night of worship and ended up going home by his dad for the night. He is working on rebuilding their relationship. God is so good.

  • Cal says:

    This week has been less of a challenge than I anticipated (praise God and thanking Him for his strength!) ….

    Just got off the phone with a person whom I’ve had some issues with in the past and was surprised by my ability to not take any of that into account and be gracious. Only god.

  • Shoji says:

    I have only attended the first practice gathering. However I have been fully engaged throughout the weeks with the practices. This week the word that stands out is “neighbor” and God has brought children to mind in my neighborhood. Also last month I was able to speak forgiveness into a friendship and today I look forward to meeting to restore that friendship.

  • Kellye says:

    On Wednesday morning, on my way home from driving my daughter to school, I saw a woman walking with her umbrella and carrying a grocery bag. It was pouring. I noticed her, but drove by, down my street and then into my driveway. I opened the garage, turned off my wipers and lights, and car. Then I just sat there thinking I should go back and offer the walking woman a ride. But I also ran through a series of excuses as to why not to do it — she probably likes walking, walking in the rain can be nice, I’m sure she hasn’t been walking that long…. Then, I felt God prompting me to “go back” and pick her up. So, I turned the car, my lights, and wipers back on, pulled out of the driveway and drove to find her. I pulled over, rolled down my window and asked if I could give her a ride. She turned me down at first, but then said ok and jumped in. She didn’t speak much English and mostly we rode in silence. But, I felt the overwhelming presence of God in the car with us and thought I might explode with joy. This woman, whose name was Maria, pointed me in the right direction and I dropped her off at a home where she was working. Turned out, I knew the people she was working for! I felt used by God, and like I saw his incredible beauty and image in Maria.

  • Alana says:

    I was running errands on Monday afternoon. I had just parked my car in a busy parking lot and a man came up to my window. Living in Chicago I had my hand on the lock the car doors button, usually they are locked but I was just about to step out. I was reluctant to find out what he wanted. He stated talking but I didn’t open my window right away. I of course opened my window and he proceeded to tell me the key to his car had broken off in the door. He was left showing me the remaining half of the key and it wasn’t enough to start the car. He said the spare key was left at home and didn’t have any money to get there. He said he only had 41 cents exactly. He said he needed train fare to get home to get the key. I didn’t have any cash on me but I had my CTA card. I didn’t have to think twice to allow him to use it. We walked over the the train station on the other side of the parking lot. I swiped my card so he could go through the turn style to make his way home.

    As we were walking over there he said I was an angel that day. I just kept walking along side him and smile back at him.

    It’s a little scary being a woman alone in Chicago and having a very tall man approach your car as soon as you park. Especially to get out of the car and go with him. But I knew I was safe. I felt God in our presence.

  • Carol D says:

    As I heard Jon speak about “intentionally stepping off the road of comfort and into…” and walking toward conflict rather than avoiding, and asking God to give us the “eyes to see the humanity” in another person, I thought about my Dad. My Dad is someone who has played the role of “enemy” through out my life. Although I have made some wise choices to protect myself from his abuse, if I am honest, I have also just simply avoided even imagining that there could be another way then just running and hiding.

    I felt convicted this past Sunday while hearing Jon preach, to write a letter to my Dad. As I continued to pray, I felt God guiding me to send a card with the focus on gratitude toward my father. It was hard to wrap my mind around that concept of actually thinking about saying” thank you” to a man that had terrorized me most of my life, but gratitude kept coming back to me. I bought a card Sunday night and several days letter when I finally sat down to write it, I was stuck after “I wanted to let you know…” I just sat and stared at those first few words and thought, “Now what?” I prayed, read the parable of the Good Samaritan 3 more times, and then the tears came, and then the words came. And God brought to mind the times in between the terror, when my Dad actually did something kind.,. like taking the family to Weeki Wachee in Florida so I could see the “mermaids” swim and when my Dad had the builder of the home we moved to in 6th grade add a few more feet to my room to help me feel better about moving away from my friends, and then before I knew it every inch of that card including the back was full of words of gratitude. I am not sure what comes next and I know I still need to make wise choices to protect myself form My Dad’s rage, but for reasons I do not quite understand, God knew it was important to say thank you for the “in between times” and to move toward instead of away.

  • Since I am following you from Traverse City, MI – I doubt I will ever be there in person, but I have been thanks to technology and Aaron’s helpfulness. Challenged this week by the story and by suggestions in the Practice, I have a plan to raise money for Bright Hope’s work with two safe houses in India. But more than that, I wanted to say that reading the stories that the folks have shared here has been so faith-encouraging and building. Each was a story of praise/thanksgiving to God. Normally testimonies of praise and thanksgiving follow some personal thing- we got well, got the job, got the mate, were restored with a child. But each of these e-mails were greatful because of a service they were able to give, or a bridge that they were able to build or start building—Wow- and I got to thinking how many have I read where folks say – Praise God for allowing me to see, and allowing me to do this act of service and/or reconciliation.

  • Mark says:

    My experience with this practice opened my eyes. By trying to see the people I encounter in my day/week etc. I came to realize deeply ingrained in me is the practice of not-seeing, and how quickly I can act like the first two characters in the story – who passed by on the other side. I’m hoping, and expecting this week’s practice – prayer of examen – will lead me into conversations with Jesus about learning to see more clearly.

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