If only I had time to read all the books recommended on the podcasts I listen to. So many books, so little time.
But Peacemakers is a must. I heard Osheta Moore on Jen Hatmaker’s podcast, For the Love, last year and I immediately put her upcoming book on my “too read” list. Moore was still working on her book at the time and it released this past spring.
Our country has been wrestling and continues to wrestle with the reality of racism, prejudice and inequality and I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t paid much attention until recently. Maybe it took a pandemic to make me pause long enough. Maybe I’ve reached a place in my life where I have time to consider. Maybe the events of 2020 brought clarity to these issues for me. Or maybe enough people in my “circle” were talking about it.
Whatever the reason, I started noticing, listening, and asking questions. I wanted to understand. So I started looking for books and podcasts that would inform me, challenge me, and impact me.
Moore meets each one of these. In Peacemaker, she invites us in to take a seat, enjoy a cup of coffee, and engage in a conversation about racism and what it means to be a peacemaker. She draws on the words of Jesus in what is know as the Be Attitudes, the “blessed are those…” and weaves their wisdom and conviction throughout her book.
Moore shares her own personal experiences of racism, draws on her own reactions to violence against black men and women in our country, and calls her white sisters to become part of peacemaking. In her opening chapter she says, “peacemaking is partnering with God to create shalom and the greatest calling for peacemakers in this moment is to practice anti-racism.”
Being a peacemaker, practicing anti-racism, and speaking out against oppression and prejudice isn’t easy, especially in a world more concerned about protecting personal rights and comforts rather than defending the rights of others. But Scripture tells us to not only look out for our own interests but also the interests of others. It also says that since Jesus Christ laid down his life for us, we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. Jesus said, “greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
We have others who need us to look out for them, brothers and sisters and sisters who need us to step out of our rights and comforts and step up. And if you don’t have friends with skin a different shade than yours, than I encourage you to find them, listen to their stories, and seek to understand.
There’s so much in this book that I’ve already decided to read it again. And I’m hoping to read through it with others this time, in order to discuss, listen, understand, and grow. Anyone interested in reading Peacemaker with me?