A Message of Reconciliation

Thursday, March 27

3-27By Dianna Vanderkarr of Charlotte, Michigan, USA
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.

—2 Corinthians 5:18–19

I sit on a quiet morning, reflecting on the past year. I wait with joy, expecting tomorrow’s homecoming of the 1775th Military Police Company. Our son and daughter-in-law have been gone for a year—a year of many challenges.

While they were gone, our other son and his family spent time recovering from a tragedy. He was shot in his home by intruders. I realize it is only by the grace of God that I could hold it all together through these uncertain times. It was the support and prayers of many who God placed in my life that carried me through. Both young families, and I, have been on journeys of forgiveness.

I cannot imagine what it was like for my children in their struggles. I can understand only from my own perspective as a mother. There were many tears of joy, sorrow, and mixed emotions through it all. Some emotions linger today, and as I grow older I’m sure they will pop up now and then.

Knowing how I feel, I can’t imagine what God feels! Knowing what my children experienced must have made God weep. I wonder about our companionship with others in our daily life. Do we look the other way when confronted by difficult issues? Do we stand in the breach, supporting those who are not like us when they suffer?

I’m strongly reminded about the Worth of All Persons, today and always. I have to look through new lenses and try to see others as God sees them.

Prayer for Peace
Thank you, God, for entrusting us to forgive those who hurt us and reconcile with those who think differently than we do. Help us let go of our defensive and confronting natures and to love according to your will. Grant us peace as we shed feelings of unworthiness.

Spiritual Practice: Forgiveness
Sit in silence, releasing all thoughts. At the end of the silence, say a silent prayer of gratitude. Now, think of something you have not forgiven, perhaps an action by a family member or a member of your congregation. As you hold that thought, breathe in deeply. With each breath, whisper “God, open my heart.” Do this “breath prayer” seven times, remembering that Jesus asks us to forgive “seventy times seven.” Throughout the day take time to practice the exercise, always asking, “God, open my heart.”

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will see and love others as you see and love them.

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