At times, Christians are not sure if they’re supposed to be for justice or reconciliation. After all, God is just, be he is also loving. But biblical justice isn’t about retribution, but rather reconciliation. Since God’s greatest desire is to restore broken relationships he’s not looking to avenge all the world’s wrongs. God is at work in the world reconciling it to himself, and the church is supposed to do it right alongside him. That’s because God has called us to be ministers of his reconciliation. We start our journey of reconciliation by receiving forgiveness from God. Next, we must learn to extend reconciliation to others in the church. Finally, we are agents of reconciliation to the world. We are obedient by loving our enemies. We own our mistakes, advocate for justice and mediate conflicts.
Questions for Discussion
- Does my view of what is fair get in the way of my willingness to forgive others?
- How would I feel if the worst person I can imagine (terrorist, serial child molester, perpetrator of genocide) made peace with God?
- How does it make me feel to know that my forgiveness is conditional upon my willingness to forgive others?
- Who are your ‘enemies’? What opportunities do you have to show them God’s reconciling love?
This series takes its basic structure from David Fitch’s very helpful book Faithful Presence.
Listen to the previous installment in this series on The Lord’s Supper.