Epistles to the Cyberchurch - Su Min

To: all
From: Su Min
Subject: Reconciliation

My dearly beloved, Jesus says, "Greater love has no-one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything I have learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not chose me, but I chose you to go and bear fruit- fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other (John 15:13-17)."

Jesus Prince of Peace comes to bring love and peace to us, even to those who have warfare within the family. And Jesus know that very often the most bitter of conflicts may be experienced between siblings, between brother and brother or brother and sister or between sister and sister.

Jesus has told us

To put this all into action, Jesus now says "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. (Matt 5:23-24)"

What does it mean "to be reconciled"? To make friendly after estrangement (OED).

Most of us are quite good at forgetting the good that others do for us. We might say thank you at that very moment. We might remember the good done to us for a little while. But soon the good that others do for us is forgotten. But the bad that others do to us is a different story. The bad that others do to us is long remembered. It festers like an abscess deep within. It boils with cold rage or explodes with hot anger. Deep within our psyche is the frustration, hostility, pain, bitterness, and extreme agitation as we recall the wrong inflicted against us. Seldom do we forget the bad that others do to us.

Jesus calls to us. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened (heavy ladened) and I will give you rest (Matt 11:28). Lay your anxieties, your burdens, your anger, your pain at His feet. If your brother has something against you, surrender that offence against you at the foot of the cross. The power of the Risen Christ will heal you. Forgive as you have been forgiven. Love the sinner but not the sin. The offence may have been heinous. More often than not the family squabble is due to a petty dispute. More often than not it is our pride and self righteousness that have been damaged. Jesus calls upon us to eat humble pie. Jesus demands of us as his disciples to go and make that first move in reconciliation. It may be us that have been wronged, but we should not sit tight and wait for the other to come to us to make peace. No, Jesus says "Go and be reconciled to your brother".

Jesus knew about reconciliation. He knew the price that had to be paid to achieve reconciliation. Indeed He is our reconciliation. God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him. For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation (Roman 5:8-11).

Come, then, having been reconciled, to the throne of grace. Lay your gifts at the altar. What do you bring as an offering to God? Do we not often tip our spare change into the offering bag. Fish out a note or two from our pocket at the last moment, just to assuage our guilty conscience. Do we not offer our services to God and to the church, but fail to prepare ourselves spiritually for that act of worship, and cancel the church appointment in favour of a secular appointment?

What a challenge. What a God! Indeed God asks for us to give ourselves completely to Him. "Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God- which is our spiritual worship (Romans 12:1)".

Let us pray.

For any comments or enquiries please write to Dr. Lim Su Min

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