Intro: Human relationships are always going to need spiritual help and reconciliation; if not today then perhaps tomorrow or next week. Relationships are precious, but they require hard work and sacrifice. We can be so very different in our individual personhood and beliefs; therefore, even small clashes and conflicts are inevitable. When groups of people violently demand their own way and expect everyone else to bow down to them, it quickly escalates the conflict and war ensues. Wars are being fought all the time [look at the immediate situation with Israel/Hamas]; because without a desire for peace with God and neighbor based on a love and respect for the laws that govern, there can be no lasting agreement, so defending and protecting land and people becomes the urgent focus. Please pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Ps 122:6). The Hamas catalyst appears to be hatred living in the heart; the pursuit and quest for greater land, power, and autonomy through horrific lawless means.
Hatred is not isolated to other nations. Look at our country and the daily demonstration of lack of respect for the laws established by our U.S. Constitution; as well as, the lack of governing leadership to empower peacemakers who enforce justice: 1) against law-breakers, 2) protection for law-abiding citizens, and 3) help for immigrating neighbors built upon our legal foundation for entry to this country. Human to human relationships have hope for reconciliation when Christ is the Lord of the heart, because without him we live in darkness with deceitful, self-serving, and lawless inclinations.
In our passage today, the Apostle Paul reminds us it is Christ who makes human beings right with Father God and in so doing we become new people living with a purpose. Our purpose is to help others meet Jesus, so they can also be reconciled to God and receive changed hearts. Not only does Christ instigate a reconciled relationship with the Father, he sends us to be ministers of reconciliation in our other relationships, as well. Christ rebuilds and repairs broken relationships all the time; he is all about addressing sin and healing human brokenness.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 NLT
17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for making every willing heart a new person in Christ. We need you to forgive our sin and heal our human brokenness. Today, we continue to pray for our hearts, as well as the hearts of our loved ones, friends and neighbors; may every heart be reconciled to you. We pray for our communities to be made whole and healthy in your reconciling love; make us examples who shine your love. We pray for our nation’s leaders to wake up to what is happening each day and take a stand against lawlessness. We pray for the nations of the world to see you are the only One who governs justly. Holy Spirit, please bring revival and reconciliation. In Jesus’ name. Amen.