21st February 2017

Reconcilers

“…in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us…”
2 Corinthians 5:19-20 (NRSV) 

Two brothers lived on adjoining farms. They got on well with each other for many years until a disagreement arose. Then they fell out. What was a minor matter grew so much that they stopped talking to each other. Then the younger of the two dug a creek dividing their two farms. One day a carpenter came by, seeking work. ‘I’ve a job for you,’ said the elder brother. ‘Build me a high fence so I don’t have to look at this awful brother of mine. I’m just off to town. Get it finished by the time I get back.’ ‘Ok,’ said the carpenter, and he set to work. When the elder brother came home he was flabbergasted. The carpenter hadn’t built a fence, he had built a bridge. And coming across it was his younger brother with his hand outstretched. ‘What a wonderful brother you are, and after all those horrible things I said to you!’

This was a story of reconciliation with the bridge-builder being a reconciler. God has reconciled us to himself through the sacrifice of Jesus. We are beneficiaries of his grace. But does Jesus expect us to relax and bask in our undeserved favour? By no means. He has work for us to do. That is what our story was about.

An ambassador represents one government to another. It’s a difficult job. He may not agree with what he has to say, but his own thoughts don’t count. And what he says might increase tensions, but he has to say it anyway. We are ambassadors of the kingdom of God to the representatives we meet of this world’s kingdoms. God’s message to them is one of reconciliation and forgiveness. You would expect people to want this, but it doesn’t always happen that way because it spoils their earthly pleasures.

The passage of scripture which introduces today’s Day by Day is about being God’s ambassadors. Have we ever thought that God might be appealing to people to become reconciled one with another as well as with him? And that we should be his instruments for bringing about that reconciliation? We would be acting like the carpenter in my story. In his sermon on the mount Jesus put it another way. He said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9). A true and faithful ambassador for God will be a reconciler and a peacemaker. We are his ambassadors; let’s demonstrate it faithfully.

Prayer
Praise you, God, for calling me into your service. Let me represent you in my relationships with others so that they may come to know your loving warmth and forgiveness both with you and with their brothers and sisters.
Amen

Study by Christopher Reeve

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About the Author:
Chris Reeve is assistant pastor of the Invicta (Blean) Congregation, which is part of Grace Communion International/Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Invicta Fellowship
Blean Village Hall
School Lane
Blean
CANTERBURY CT2 9JA

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11.30 a.m.

Local Congregational Contact:
Mrs Annette Woods
Phone: 07473 188326
Email: annettewoods2@nhs.net

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