Peace through reconciliation

Two years ago I attended a luncheon at a World Council of Churches meeting held in Nashville, Tennessee. The Council's General Secretary, Dr. Konrad Raiser, discussed "the ministry of reconciliation" as the WCC's theme for this decade. Since then the theme has been formalized into The Decade to Overcome Violence: Churches Seeking Reconciliation and Peace. It's turned out to be a relevant, if not controversial, topic.

Dr. Raiser's talk dramatically changed my viewpoint. His examples of successful reconciliation were moving, one involving South Africa being the most powerful for me. Later, I attended a talk by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who spoke of his personal experience in reconciliation.

As a result, I began to define prayer as a ministry. I saw the ministry of reconciliation mentioned in Second Corinthians 5:17–19 as an important aspect of the wider healing ministry. This might be obvious to others. But up to this time healing for me had primarily meant physical cure of sickness accomplished by spiritually mental means. Peacemaking and reconciliation, when considered as part of healing, took on a divine authority that they hadn't for me before.

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Calm during the storm
April 14, 2003

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