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Reconciled to Reconcile

And many more believed because of his word.

John 4:41
Reconciled to Reconcile Book Cover

From our stories this week, we have seen the power and compassion of God through Jesus’s encounters with women. One experience with Jesus changed them forever. The same has happened to us. Before Christ’s death on the cross, we were sinners and enemies of God. But after the cross, we are new creatures— recipients of grace and heirs of salvation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Reconciliation has to do with a change in our relationship with God. Now that we are reconciled to God, he involves us in his work of reconciling others to himself.

Let’s revisit the Samaritan woman’s encounter with Jesus and see how one experience forever changed her life and also the lives of those in her community. From the cultural clues from day one of this week, it’s much more likely that the Samaritan woman’s story is one of loss related to pain and shame, not sin. After her conversation with Jesus, she ran to town to tell her community about him. The townspeople accepted her witness, with many coming to faith in Jesus (John 4:41).

God uses our story, brokenness and all, to draw others to himself. Our changed lives are a powerful testimony to others of God’s healing and restorative power. They communicate that God’s grace and love extends to all. God doesn’t care what society says about us. He wants us women to see ourselves as he sees us. And he will break society’s rules to do it.

Jesus held a deep theological conversation with a woman. He traveled miles to minister to a Gentile woman. He saved an adulteress from death. No matter what marginalized state these women existed in, Jesus met them where they were and opened their eyes to his compassion and power of reconciliation. He’s done the same for us. As his disciples, he calls us to the same wall-busting, rule-breaking ministry of reconciliation.

We get to bust down walls and cross divides like Jesus did. When we follow Jesus, we walk right behind him as he tears down dividing walls. There are dividing walls of ability, age, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status. There’s no kind of person he didn’t come to save. We should live that way.

the ministry of presence

For us, breaking down barriers will most often take more than a day. It might take six months’ worth of Sunday dinners or several invitations to church before one is accepted. It might look like uncomfortable, intense dialogue or silently sitting with someone. Whatever wall-busting looks like in our lives, it requires our presence. Stepping into someone else’s world requires humility and vulnerability in order to establish relationships and build trust. We have to keep showing up so that we can communicate the same message to women in our communities. They are seen, they are heard, they are loved.

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What the Women Saw

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Jesus Sees the Marginalized

Daily Question

How are you crossing the divides, as Jesus did, to make relationships and walk alongside those who are marginalized? What can you do to make a difference and close the gaps right where you are now geographically?

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Comments (5)

I work with young / single moms and it gives me great pleasure to serve them and love them as Jesus would. I’ve always had a bleeding heart for the outcasts. Still, I am reminded that there is so much more I could be doing. Good questions to think on more.

One of the biggest and most painful divides we see in our society today is that of racism. Racism doesn’t always look like it has in the past – we’ve all seen those pictures of angry faces hollering at little children just going to school, or know those stories of little girls being killed when a church was bombed, and we’re grateful we don’t see those incidents any more. Racism these days is more subtle. It looks like suspicion of people of colour when they are doing regular, normal things – jogging, for instance. A white man deliberately went for a jog, shirtless, wearing his baseball hat on backwards, and carrying a flat screen TV with him, and nobody blinked an eye or suspected him of stealing anything. Yet a black man jogging with none of these "suspicious" extras was murdered. What I am doing to work towards making a difference and closing this painful and sinful gap in our thinking and assumptions is listening and learning from friends of colour, taking my lead from them, and amplifying their stories and experiences so that others may learn. I pray that God will circumcise our hearts and open our eyes and bring healing to this painful divide.

I am learning to slow and be more like a lighthouse. Eyes are drawn to light. And I do want to draw others to the Son Light. My God given energy and jovial spirit tends to look like a sparkler flitting around haphazardly if I don’t use discipline and situational awareness. The sparklers burn down quickly and threaten to catch the wrong things on fire (like your hair haha), but a lighthouse… ahhhh. Deep breath. This is what shines in the dark so the lost ships can see. A lighthouse promises safety and a way to land by holding the same position. Strong and secure on a foundation of rock. Immovable and confident. When I have chosen this stance, I notice the eyes of someone who is lonely, or isolated. Beneath that tailored suit or that overgrown beard and tattered pants. I see their soul illuminated by the Light. And so it begins.

I loved how you expressed this! Especially the analogy of being strong and secure, on our rock, Jesus!

Maintaining my friendship with a couple of white women in sharing Scripture and prayer, and life in general. One of whom is now part of our Noonday Prayer group.
Being present with noncollege-educated neighbors in friendship and love. Just choosing kindness.

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