Ministers of reconciliation

What a great need for reconciliation our world has—in South Africa, Rwanda, Bosnia, and other countries in the aftermath of ethnic conflict or civil war, and even in relatively stable countries such as Canada and the United States after divisive votes. Although many political and social situations call for unity and justice, the starting place is individual hearts. All of us, by perceiving the oneness of God, good, and His likeness, man, can be ministers of reconciliation in our home, church, local community, and world.

The perfect minister of reconciliation was Christ Jesus. He said, "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30), and prayed that all people would be one (see John 17:20–23). He helped a woman who was a Samaritan, a group despised by Jews of the period; he praised publicly a Roman centurion and healed his servant (Romans were hardly popular with the people they were subjugating militarily); and he chose a tax collector, one of a group detested for cooperating with the Roman occupation, as one of his twelve disciples (see John 4:5–29; Luke 7:2–10; Matt. 9:9).

But for us to be ministers of reconciliation, we must understand the spiritual basis of the Master's reconciling work. In this regard, his teachings show clearly one infinite God, good. His compassion for the woman caught in adultery (see John 8:1–11), to cite just one example, clearly points to the truth of this passage from First John: "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all" (1:5).

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December 2, 1996

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