Purpose-Driven Acts of Conciliation
Sermon; #1491B; 32 minutes
In the story of Ruth, the Moabitess shows conciliatory devotion to her mother-in-law Naomi, enabling her to become reconciled to her new people and culture. Ruth becomes reconciled to the Commonwealth of Israel. The nouns reconciliation and conciliation are complementary, near synonyms; however, they are not coterminous. Only Christ can reconcile us to God by His atoning work. However, we can employ conciliatory behaviors in order to proactively placate others, with the intent to bring harmony and peace. By esteeming others better than ourselves, we become a force for peace. Christ identifies the spirit of conciliation in the Beatitudes with those who are poor in spirit, meek, merciful and peacemakers. These are those people who take on the metaphorical properties as the salt and the light of the world, following the example of Christ, who set aside His kingly privileges to become a servant. As we imitate Christ, we must remember that our efforts may not initially bring peace, but persecution instead. Nevertheless, our responsibility is to utilize a repertoire of purpose-driven conciliatory actions. Only God can and will bring about ultimate reconciliation.