November 22, 2021

The Work of Reconciliation

Look! On the mountains the feet of one who brings good tidings, who proclaims peace! 
Nahum 1:15
Good tidings of peace. My first thought when I hear about this news is that it must come straight from Messiah. And indeed it does. Jesus is the Prince of Peace—at least that's what Christians believe.

But is it only Messiah who proclaims peace? Is this not also a responsibility Jesus shares with his followers—and not just some of us (namely the clergy), but all of us.

It's common in churches like mine to refer to the clergyperson as the minister. Technically, though, we should use the term pastor. The pastor is the one who guides. And those whom the pastor guides are the other ministers. Ministers are servants who do Christ's work in the world, so all the baptized—both lay and clergy—are ministers.

And our principle work is the ministry of reconciliation, proclaiming peace to a world in conflict. Proclaiming it means very little if we're not willing to set the example of reconciliation. There are many examples of what this means in the Bible, but I think the most important ones are found in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), where reconciliation, forgiveness, and love for enemies are among the most important parts of Jesus' proclamation.

There aren't that many things that Jesus said and did that do not also apply to those of us who follow him. So may the work of reconciliation be how his disciples are known in a world that does not quite know who Jesus is and what he stands for.

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.
 2 Corinthians 5:18
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Through my words and actions, O God, may I be an agent of love, forgiveness, and reconciliation in a conflicted world.
✙ 
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.
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