Let’s bow our heads in a formal word of prayer to Our Father Who is in Heaven before we start expounding on why we should all take advantage of opportunities to be reconciled to one another.
|“Dear Heavenly Father, our fervent prayers today are being sent up to You, imploring You to make true reconciliation possible between all ethnic groups in the world and that this reconciliation will definitely endure so that Your everlasting peace will once again rule in the hearts of men. Amen.|
First off, let’s all admit that there have been moments in our lives where we have caused dissention, disagreement, discourse, defeat, discouragement, disbandment, and dissatisfaction, etc., etc., etc., to someone else. But nevertheless, since those midlife encounters, we have neither looked back to examine our ‘triumphs’ nor repented if and/or when your conscious prompted you to do so. (I’m not just preaching to the choir, I’m talking about myself, too.)
May I suggest, that during this sacred time of giving gifts known as the Christmas Season, you give Christ Jesus a gift of reconciliation (since, after all, it is HIS birthday and not ours). We can physically type or write a letter of remorse for a wrong committed to someone that you will name in the letter. Put down in writing the very words you want to say to that person you harmed that would be pleasing to God and that would free you from your stains of guilt.
Below are a few Bible verses expressing Self-remorse:
|“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13|
|“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,…” Acts 3:19|
|“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32|
|“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14|
|“..leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” Matthews 5:24|
|For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? Romans 11:15|
|“ 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 was making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:18-21|
A true story…
Many years ago, while teaching some clergy members, Sunday School teachers, and many other adults in a remote South Africa city called Kafue, outside of Lusaka, my lesson was taken from Matthews 5:24. I was speaking on reconciliation because since 1995, most South Africans (white and Black) annually celebrate December 16 as a special holiday called Day of Reconciliation or Day of The Vow which was the year Apartheid ended.
Although I was teaching the class in English, I had an African interpreter and translator. Seemingly, my teaching was upsetting an older sage/teacher in the audience. He had been accompanied to the class by a younger male relative who was frantically trying to calm him down. I finally had to stop teaching and I asked my interpreter to go over and ask the gentleman what was disturbing him. The translator reported that the gentleman was at a loss as to how to reconcile with his neighbor as to the atrocity he had committed against him, since he had ate ‘it’. Needing clarification, I went over to the young man and asked him to please get a better understanding from his grandfather. Finally, the young man reported to me and the class that his grandfather (who had tears in his eyes) had reported that he had stolen some chickens from his neighbor and had fed them to his family. Since he had now consumed all the meat, how could he right the wrong he had committed against his neighbor.
Boy, oh boy, I found myself speechless. So I sent up a quick prayer to Heaven and instantly the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “Tell the ole gentleman that the Lord sees his heart and all is forgiven.” Hallelujah! The Lord paid it all! The young man repeated my blessing from on High and the whole class shouted with joy and broke out in singing!!!
Scripture Lesson: “May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1st Thessalonians 5:23
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