The Peacemakers

BCM's Children's Team Co-ordinator, Kathryn Hindley talks about their assembly for the term in the context of the wars and conflict in our world.

Our world is sadly full of conflict. From the large scale wars in Ukraine and Gaza, to the smaller scale arguments in the playground or fights with your siblings.

Many children see fighting and aggression as normal and even necessary. It is into this context that BCM's Children’s Team has been delivering this term's assembly ‘The Peacemakers’, telling the story from 1 Samuel 25 of Abigail, David and Nabal.

In this story David, God’s anointed king, has been driven away by Saul and is living in the desert. He requests gifts of food from Nabal, a rich man living nearby, whose shepherds David’s men have helped to protect. But Nabal responds by insulting David’s men and refusing to share what he has. David, burning with anger, sets out to destroy Nabal and all his household.

One of Nabal’s servants (our first peacemaker) warns Abigail, Nabal’s wife, of the impending disaster. Abigail (our second peacemaker) acts with courage and wisdom to stop the fighting. She takes David a gift of food and wine, and is even willing to take the blame for what has happened. David accepts the gift and disaster is averted. We explain that Abigail points to Jesus, the greatest peacemaker, who came to bring peace between us and God by taking the blame and punishment we deserve for our actions.

I wonder how we as Christians can be people of peace in our communities. Several children have asked us over recent months whether we support Israel or Palestine. It is a challenging question, not least because it is being asked by Muslim children who feel an affinity to Palestine, and Christians are often seen as offering uncritical support of Israel. What is the wise answer of the peacemaker? Personally, my heart breaks for all those caught up in the conflict. I long and pray for peace, not just a stopping of fighting but a peace agreement where both Israelis and Palestinians can flourish.

Kathryn Hindley, Children's Team Co-ordinator

The Peacemakers assembly will be delivered 112 times by the end of this term. The team will also deliver 10 special Easter assemblies in the two weeks before the holidays when they will look at the road to Emmaus.

February's half-term club, called Solid Rock and pictured here, saw 82 children coming to hear of God’s compassion and mercy through the story of Jonah.