Members of the early church were called to be peacemakers. Matthew 18:16-17 tells us that “…if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you… If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church.” Some early forms of mediation are taking place – beginning with the two people who are in conflict and incorporating more listeners (mediators) who can assist church members who seek reconciliation. They are not just finding the answer but creating a process that will restore harmony.
The next time you encounter conflict, ask the question, “I wonder what God is up to now?” Conflict is often an opportunity to learn something new about God, through forgiveness and reconciliation. Imagine living in a world where a disagreement – whether it be an argument with a stranger on the street; a congregational conflict; an ethnic, racial, or cultural conflict; or two nations waging war – can be resolved through the process of peace-making through conflict mediation.
This message is excerpted from “Road to reconciliation” by Rosemary Dyson in the June 2016 Gather magazine. Today we commemorate Onesimos Nesib, translator, evangelist, 1931. Today is the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.
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