Ministers of Reconciliation

Wednesday, October 2

10-2By Carolyn Brock of Independence, Missouri, USA

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.

—2 Corinthians 5: 18

It was a good day. The district conference in Nigeria ended with a joyous Communion service. The more than 800 attendees had begun to leave the church when we heard shouts from outside. Chaos invaded the church as a group of youth entered with a friend who had been “wounded in battle.” Sunday Charlie Akpan, who was then the national minister, escorted the youth into a small room with instructions to attend to the cut; then he hurried outside to restore calm. Young people from rival clans had exchanged insults and then started flinging rocks, resulting in a head wound for one, a deep cut on the hand of another.

Reconciliation took time, it took patience, it took respect and listening to all parties involved, and it took wisdom. It took assessment of damages and several trips to the hospital to bind up wounds. It took a soothing voice among angry ones. It took the oil of grace poured over the results of destructive actions. It took a skilled minister of reconciliation; it took a disciple.

While perhaps none of us heave rocks at each other after a Communion service, have we launched unkind words and acts with intent to wound? Have we at times divided ourselves into rival camps? Are there yet divisions that absorb our attention and sap our energy? How do we yet need to restore peace with one another? How can we embrace each other and our differences in the spirit of patience, respect, wisdom, listening, and healing? Who among us will offer soothing words, or become anointers of wounds, and skilled ministers of reconciliation—who will be disciples?

Prayer for Peace
Reconciling God, help us break down barriers, real and imaginary. Help us lose our attitude of rivalry. Help us experience unity in diversity.

Spiritual Practice: The International Community
Find (or imagine) a globe or map of the world. Look at all the nations and find a country other than your own. Notice the geographic distance between your homeland and this one. Picture a person living there. Pray for this person. Sense God’s love connecting you just as the oceans connect the continents. Thank God for the spiritual connection you have with all of God’s people around the globe. Ask a blessing on the church as a community sharing Christ’s peace, drawing all into the family of God.

 Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will tear down dividing walls and build bridges of invitation. I will unlock doors that restrict listening and throw away the key.

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1 Comment

  1. Susan Gregory

     /  2 October 2013

    Your testimony is eloquent, powerful, and filled with potential. I want to be a peacemaker …

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