May 3, 2017
The Price of Reconciliation
“Be reconciled to your brother” Matthew 5:24
This week I asked a Korean born pastor what would happen if North and South Korea were united under a free democratic government. He talked about the patience the South would have to show as their Northern countrymen went through a sharp learning curve to adapt to a new way of life. As we started to compare it the unification of East and West Germany, we invited into our conversation a German born pastor/professor who had lived through it. He remembered the high monetary price of unification the West payed to catch up their Eastern brothers and sisters.
Paying the price and patience are part of any reconciliation between individuals and groups. When adversaries put aside their differences, confess and forgive sins, life doesn’t just automatically get better. People don’t always get over their hard feelings overnight, even though they want to. The pattern of distrust and suspicion lingers. Besides the patience required by parties to adjust their attitudes and expectations, there is also the price of restitution, making good for any harm that the previous animosity created. Though reconciliation comes with a price, the joy of peace and lessened tension are worth the effort.
As in all good things, we can look to our Lord for help. Jesus Christ first reconciled us to Himself by paying the price of His own life. By His saving work, we know that God desires to be reconciled to us, and that we be reconciled to each other. He makes this happen, not only by the cross, but by His enduring patience with us. As we go through the learning curve to live out the reconciled life, He walks alongside us, continuing to forgive us and give us His Spirit of peace. Germans reconciled with fellow Germans. We pray that Koreans might do the same. Likewise, we pray that we may pay the price to live in the patience of reconciling with our Christian brothers and sisters. For the sake of peace, and the glory of God.