Peace is one of the most elusive of humanities desires. As we celebrate Christmas in the United States refugees have fled to the forests in Congo to escape rogue armies, wars are being fought in the Middle East, Christians are being harassed in many countries and terrorists plot their next moves.
It has always been so since our forefathers left the garden. And into a world of conflict the Savior came to be our peace (Ephesians 2:14) and reconcile us to God. And, to reconcile us to one another (Galatians 3:26-29). The words and message of reconciliation and peace blanket the New Testament.
Think about this. Jesus became man and died so that we could be reconciled to God. And then He called us to be reconciled to one another as brothers and sisters in Christ and to live at peace to the greatest extent of our ability with all people.
If Jesus cared so deeply about reconciliation, we should as well - starting in our families where estrangement is so common, our churches where unity is often compromised, among fellow believers where we are too quick to live with critical spirits and in a society that loves to divide rather than unite.
And God did not wait until we asked for reconciliation. He took the first step. He came to us when we were not looking for Him. He humbled himself (Philippians 2:1-11) rather than waiting for us to humble ourselves.
It raises some questions worth considering:
Is there someone I am estranged from that I can attempt to be reconciled to?
If there is, am I, like Jesus willing to humble myself and take the first step even if I am the aggrieved?
Are there ways that I can help bring reconciliation between others who are estranged?
How can I help bring reconciliation between races and people groups who live with estrangement?
Reconciliation is a deeply Christian value rooted deeply in the incarnation where the God of Scripture did what no other God of any religion had ever done: Became a creature so that the creatures could be reconciled to the eternal. Every time I pray for reconciliation, attempt reconciliation, humble myself to bring reconciliation I mirror the character of Jesus. The mark of a believer is that he/she has been reconciled to God in Jesus and in turn brings reconciliation between peoples who are in conflict.