Jesus said, "If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.
"For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another."Mark 9:42-50
Some people hold grudges a long time. Others blow up and fight, making up just as quickly. Some families argue constantly and others never do. Often the families which seem to be in constant conflict, when challenged by tragedy of one sort or another, come together in peace, ready to protect and serve each other. Our daughters, all grown, have always teased and fought, but they are loving and close. There is a trusting peace in their presence, a knowing that everything will work out.
Jesus had just cautioned his followers about competition. He told them to focus on serving the least and keeping the little ones safe from harm. There is perfect peace when we set down competition and raise up the needs of others. God moves into the places of need and struggle, helping us bring hope and peace in very hurtful places we find ourselves. God brings peace to all and makes us ambassadors of God's peace.
Today I ask God to help in being an ambassador for God's peace. May we not try to be first but may we be humble enough to ask for the help we need. May we see the needs around us and offer a hand of love and peace,