Friday, October 16, 2009

RECONCILERS

Five ways to bring together what has been unnecessarily separated and/or segregated

To “reconcile” means “to bring together,” "to resolve, settle," "to restore to friendship or harmony." The Apostle Paul described the Christian mission primarily in terms of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:11-6:2). Here are 5 ways to be a reconciler:

1. Break barriers.  Fear, suspicion, doubt, bigotry, ignorance: challenge and break through these strongholds of division and discord by choosing to dwell in the love reflected in Jesus.

2. Bridge gaps.  Insulation, seclusion, division, suspicion, resentment: span these with simple but courageous acts of hope and faith.  Sometimes we have to be the bridge...and bridges get walked on.

3. Cross borders.  Put yourself in the situations where you can grow in grace.  Cross cultures by intention again and again.  Be enriched by those whom you consider poor.  Love the city though you may prefer the country.  Learn as you teach.  Receive as you serve.

4. Welcome strangers. Make room for those whom the dominant culture and society discards, looks down on, suspects, or dismisses. “Let every guest be received as Christ.” “Strangers expected” is the watchword.

5. Stand in the gap. Many situations and people resist reconciliation for a long time. You may be called to literally live in the tension between conflicts and estranged people. That is what Jesus does on the Cross. As an ambassador of reconciliation, dare to stand in the gap with the grace, love, and power God gives.

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