Bearers of the Message of Reconciliation and New Creation
Fourth Sunday in Lent: March 10, 2013
It had been years since they had spoken. Both felt they were right in their decisions and stances, but somehow two simple votes, one for and one against, had separated them for years. Both had done well in their calls to different ministries in the same community. Often, both had shared the same table and had enjoyable conversation together with others, but something was missing that kept them from being completely open to each other, and both knew that every time they were together. They also knew that it had to be repaired. Life was not as good as it could be or as it seemed to others. Neither ever confronted the other because it was just a small matter that didn’t get in the way of work or cause hard feelings. How could they be reconcilers if they could not be reconciled to with each other? Years went by, and the need for reconciliation became a matter that preoccupied both of them.
One night in a pharmacy, the two of them were face-to-face as they rounded the display case. Each greeted the other warmly, but one could not go any further without attempting to reconcile their small difference. It could have taken a long time to do this, and it could have slipped by as it had for years, but this time it didn’t. It was dealt with right there. It only took two words: “I’m sorry,” said one, to which the other replied, “Me, too.” It was done.
Warm conversation ensued about many things as both waited for prescriptions to be filled. Somehow on that cold night in a pharmacy, the world was better for both of them. The two of them spend as much time together as they ever did, but there is something different about the time they spend together. It’s not inhibited by anything that was left undone by harsh words or ignoring a problem. Their focus is a little sharper now that they are looking through the same lens at the same object. Reconciled to each other, both continue to lead others in this reconciliation as they bear the good news of reconciliation.
The Apostle Paul tells us that we must appear before Christ in court so that each person can be paid back for the things that were done while in the body, whether they were good or bad. So, it becomes our job to persuade everyone we can to hear the good news of reconciliation and be transformed through the renewing of the mind as much as possible into the image of Christ. When our mind is renewed, we see things differently because we are a new creation in Christ and we want others to experience this in their lives. We have died to the old self and past, and look to a future of hope as we share this experience with all whom we meet.
Are things going well for you, or are things falling apart? A pushed-aside woman met the Messiah at a well in the middle of the day, and had a spiritual checkup and was found to be lacking. After just a few questions from the Messiah, she admitted that her life was falling apart and she had come to accept the life she had been accustomed to.
Jesus talked to her about dryness in her life. A dryness that only “living water” could repair. She had had this need for a long time. When offered spiritual water, she was eager to receive it, but it didn’t make a lot of sense to her at that time. The result for her was new life. She was transformed into the person she was told she would never be, because of the water of life that Jesus offers. Now she is starting over again as an ambassador that carries his message of hope and new life to other people on farms, in villages, towns and cities, and yes, around wells all around the world.
Like the woman at the well, it doesn’t matter where you are today. “Come see a man who told me everything,” she said. Today is a new day, and we’re trusted to be bearers of this message of reconciliation and hope for all humanity. This water is available to everyone without cost, as it has been for so long for persons just like you and me. The water of resurrection brings new life for all who will come and see, come and taste. Thirst- quenching water that provides healing for all of us. Drink this water, live and go tell others the source of the life-giving water.
Gary W. Locklear is a home missioner serving as a church and community worker with the General Board of Global Ministries, currently assigned to the North Carolina Annual Conference, working with the Native American Cooperative Ministry. Mr. Locklear is also the conference lay leader. Find him at nativeamericanministries.org.