Risking Reconciliation Among the "Deconciled"

The world, especially this culture in this era, calls us to creature comforts, to please ourselves and focus on maximizing our own pleasure. God, in contrast, does not give us His presence and power to retreat into pleasure seeking. It is woven into the definition of following Christ that we absolutely will be in situations of discomfort and difficulty. We absolutely will be placed in situations of brokenness and conflict, where the risk of betrayal is real.

It should be natural, is to be expected, that in a fallen world, our own congregation should be divided and conflicted. We live in a "deconciled" world, of which any congregation is a part. Living in Christ means building bridges, reconciliation, being in the chasms of division, in the deep valleys where relationships are dissolved and loneliness rules. God longs to bring life to those valleys, bring connection between the distant and divided. He has not chosen to build those bridges by His disruptive miracles alone. It is inherent to the nature of salvation that the saved, those who have been bridged and reconciled to God, would be the seeds of further bridging, further reconciliation. The work of reconciliation is not a happy hand-holding around a kumbaya campfire. It is more like going into the fires of disagreement and disconnection, bitterness and enmity, and letting God's miracles disrupting division somehow work through our broken, cracked pottery.

If you're a Christian, you can't avoid the stress and strain of being in the middle of conflict without denying the movement and call of God in this broken world.