Friday, October 19, 2012

Ushered into Deep Peace, Part 2

Reconciling dialogue is not neat and tidy.  It’s not quick and easy.  It’s not usually comfortable.  It IS very humbling.  It’s often complicated.  But God has given us a process in Matthew 18… an invitation to enter into the reconciling work of Christ. 

It may take time for reconciliation to be complete. Sometimes, it takes a long time for God to shift our hearts and move us into places where we can really embrace peace with one another.  But, all along the journey of reconciliation, we hold the posture of seeking peace… the posture of humility depending on the Holy Spirit and trusting the presence of Christ whenever 2 or 3 gather to seek His peace.

Christ in you is too precious to Christ in me to let this go or to do this carelessly… We cannot ignore this call to reconciliation or back away from this peace because it’s too much work… or too uncomfortable. Christ trusts us with this ministry of peace.

Reconciliation isn't some extra burden or some sort of obligation.  It’s like seeing shin pads and cleats as burdensome to playing soccer.  By signing up to play soccer, we sign up to be what soccer players are… playing soccer without cleats and shin pads is not only not as effective, it’s downright dangerous. 

Playing at being a Christian without committing to living reconciled lives with one another is not effective… we are not effective ministers / ambassadors of reconciliation – AND, it’s downright dangerous!  Playing without reconciliation leaves us wide open for the injury of isolation, the bruising of resentment, the cuts of hostility, and the inflammation of the devil himself.

If we saw an athlete attempting to play in the world cup without cleats or shin guards, we might instantly laugh and write him / her off as delusional… if we claim to be followers of Christ but refuse to live reconciled lives with one another, we are laughable… and the peace of Christ is seen as a pipe dream of a delusional people.

The ministry of peace / reconciliation has been entrusted to us… we can’t just speak a ministry of peace… we ARE a people of peace.  When our peace with one another is blocked, our invitations to others to enter the peace of Christ are laughable…  because the world sees us as a delusional people who are playing soccer without cleats.  Our words have no traction. The way the world knows the peace of Christ is through the peace of His people. 

God ushers us into lives of deep peace with one another.

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