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EDITORIAL: Power and joy of reconciliation

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First, go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” — Matthew 5:23-24
If you’ve spent any amount of time at all in the church, someone has hurt you. Or you have hurt someone. Or, more likely, both.
We are human. We fall short of the glory of God. We sin.
We disagree. We argue. We carry grudges. We cry and cause tears.
But what did Jesus say?
Could our Lord and Savior have spoken any more clearly in the Sermon on the Mount?
“Go and be reconciled,” Jesus said.
As a new year dawns, what better time to make a fresh start with a brother or sister who has something against you?
Recent headlines provide snapshots of the power of reconciliation and the joy that it brings:
• For Lipscomb and Don Meyer, a court of reconciliation.

A front-page story this month reports on Lipscomb University and its former longtime men’s basketball coach, Don Meyer, healing old wounds.
As Meyer’s daughter, Brooke Meyer Napier, describes Lipscomb’s decision to name its basketball court after her father, it’s “a story of redemption and things coming full circle.”
Praise God for both sides embracing the opportunity to move forward in a positive, compelling fashion.
• Church planted in hotel ballroom touts ‘New Life.’
As we reported last month, a new congregation called the New Life Church of Christ has been planted in the St. Louis area.
The church intends to reach people who have no relationship with God as well as former church members who have become estranged.
“The idea is, there’s a lot of hurt. There’s a lot of pain,” minister Thomas Jackson told The Christian Chronicle. “There’s a lot of hearts that have been bruised, and because of that, some of the relationships are … we tolerate each other, but we don’t get along like a family.”
Praise God for a new congregation intent on bringing reconciliation to broken hearts.
• In Big Sky country, three congregations merge.
Two months ago, we shared news of three churches in Helena, Mont., coming together in a community where personal disputes, doctrinal issues, allegiances to ministers and sins by leaders all have contributed to splits and hurt feelings.
Mark Wilson, one of the founding members of the Big Sky Church of Christ, shared how Christians who had been hurt moved past their suspicions and tensions and reconciled.
“Everybody was sincere,” he said, “and nobody was trying to bring all that past history forward.”
Praise God for Christians willing to let go and let God move hearts and minds.
“Go and be reconciled,” Jesus said.

Filed under: Editorial Staff Reports

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