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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Call for Reconciliation this Christmas

The late Henri Nouwen, 20th century theologian and author of many influential books, wrote in this devotional book Bread for the Journey something that is as relevant now as it ever was. With all the hoo hah stirring us up and all the strident voices insisting we take one side or another on issues that seemed designed to do nothing more than divide us, Nouwen states that our overriding task is reconciliation. Here is what he says in his Christmas day devotional,
What is our task in this world as children of God and brothers and sisters of Jesus? Our task is reconciliation. Wherever we go we see divisions among people--in families, communities, cities, countries, and continents. All these divisions are tragic reflections of our separation from God. The truth that all people belong together as members of one family under God is seldom visible. Our sacred task is to reveal that truth in the reality of everyday life.
Why is that our task? Because God sent Jesus to reconcile us with God and to give us the task of reconciling people with one another. As people reconciled with God through Jesus we have been given the ministry of reconciliation (see 2 Corinthians 5:18). So whatever we do the main question is, "Does it lead to reconciliation among people?"
Wishing you reconciliation this Christmas, for the new year, and always.

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