Dear Hope Family,
We are faced with a challenging, pointed passage from the Apostle Paul’s pen this week. In Ephesians 2, he confronts the reality of division, alienation, and enmity in our shared humanity and in our churches, and he goes to great lengths to show that the replacing of hatred with the reconciling peace of the Cross is at the center of the good news of the Gospel. The obstacle which we need to overcome is push to reconciliation to the margins of our lives and the fringes of the ministries of the church. But rather than peripheral to the Gospel and rather than optional to the life of discipleship, reconciliation is the heartbeat of the work of Christ.
Jerram Barrs reflects upon the centrality of becoming agents of reconciliation: “The failure of the Christian Church in many parts of the world and throughout time to speak out for and live out reconciliation between races may tempt people to believe that there are only a couple of obscure verses here and there in the Word of God which address this issue. But when we turn to Scripture, we find it is not just that there are a couple of verses here and there which address this issue—reconciliation is actually at the essential core of our most holy faith.”
Please join me in praying that God would give us the courage and humility to become a reconciling community.
Grace and peace,