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Connecting with God through Christ
Loving one another in Christ
Reaching our world for Christ

Peacemakers

Years ago I read a book entitled, Margin:  Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives, written by Christian physician Richard Swenson.  As he considered the factors that deplete us emotionally and spiritually, I was struck by this observation: “Broken relationships are a razor across the artery of the spirit.  Stemming the hemorrhage and binding the wound should be done as quickly as possible.  Yet all too often it takes months or years.  And sometimes the bleeding never stops.  True reconciliation is one of the most powerful of all human interactions.  Warring individuals who have done battle for years can erase all antagonism in a matter of minutes.  This is not a matter of human psychology but rather a divine gift.  One of the great privileges of our adoption into God’s family is the access we have to this mysterious healing power of the Spirit.  If you have not seen it happen, or if you have only seen it happen rarely, then yearn for it.  Pray for it.  And know it is one of the gifts God most enjoys giving.”

 

There is an ancient door on display in St. Patrick’s cathedral in Dublin, Ireland.  The rough hewn door has a hole hacked out in its center.  It’s called the “Door of Reconciliation,” and gives rise to the Irish expression of “chancing one’s arm.”  In 1492, two prominent Irish families, the Ormonds and Kildares, were fighting a bitter feud.  The feud grew to the point that the Earl of Ormand was besieged by the Earl of Kildare.  The Ormand family and followers took refuge at St. Patrick’s cathedral and bolted themselves in.  But as the siege wore on, the Earl of Kildare concluded the feuding was foolish.  Here were two families worshiping the same God, in the same church, living in the same country, trying to kill each other.  So Kildare called out to the Earl of Ormand, pledging that he would cease hostilities and not seek revenge.  He asked the Ormands to come out and for the feud to be over.  But the Earl of Ormand was convinced that it was a treacherous scheme and refused.  So Kildare grabbed his spear, chopped a hole in the door, and took a great risk—he thrust his hand through the hole. There was a tense moment and then his hand was grasped by another hand inside the church.  The door opened, the two men embraced, and feud came to an end.  From Kildare’s noble gesture came that expression, “chancing one’s arm.”

 

Reconciliation does involve a risk—primarily risking what we think are our rights and sacrificing our pride to reach out to those with whom we have broken relationships.  Christ Jesus sacrificed His life to bring peace and reconciliation to those at war with Him.  May God give us grace and courage to humbly follow the example and command of His Son, so that we may experience the joy of His promise, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

~Pastor Ron

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