Blessed are the peacemakers
June 10, 2022
Last week in our assemblies and chapels we acknowledged Reconciliation Week. It is such a vital issue for our nation and deserves to be brought to our attention regularly. Our students are to be congratulated for the emphasis they gave this important social issue.
Reconciliation is also a major concern of the Bible. For example, in Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, Christian conversion is framed in terms of reconciliation – God reconciles us to himself through the death of his Son Jesus. Furthermore, our experience of being reconciled to God through faith in Jesus ought to move us to desire this for others. Here’s how this is put in 2 Corinthians 5.17-21:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
But there is a further dimension in the Bible: God reconciles us to each other when he reconciles us to himself. We are made one in Christ. The chief example of that in the early Church was the reconciliation of Jew and Gentile. And the point is that if Jews and Gentiles can find peace with one another, anyone can. Here’s how that is put in Ephesians 2.13-17:
But now in Christ Jesus you [Gentiles] who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For Jesus himself is our peace, who has made the two groups [both Jew and Gentile] one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility … His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.
Our world needs peacemakers. By virtue of being shaped by a Christian worldview which has reconciliation at its heart, TIGS students are well-placed to be just what our world needs. As I observe how our students relate to one another at School – caring, considerate, forgiving, inclusive – I have great hope for the world.