Sharing God’s Call toWholeness
many evangelicals worldwide are looking forward to the next Lausanne Congress
on world evangelization in october 2010 in Cape Town, south africa. Here’s part
two in a Faith Today series looking at seven of the major issues to be discussed.
Take a look around. We don’t need an introduc- tion to brokenness and suffering. A teenage Asian prostitute in downtown Toronto, a starv- ing family in Darfur, a homeless man in Seattle,
a heartbroken young widow of a gang member in Chicago,
a Palestinian orphan – all of these are real people trying to
make good choices in a real web of family,
social, political and economic systems that
have gone horribly wrong.
Consider some of their stories. Tracy
thought she was being smuggled into Canada to work in a coffee shop. Instead, she
works the street for the “boss.” The Abboud family fled their village for fear of
being killed by armed tribesmen and now
live on the edge of the Sudanese desert. Peter, in his 70s, was
ostracized by his family when they learned he had AIDS. He
now lives rummaging around garbage cans in Seattle.
And the list goes on to Jews and Palestinians, Tutsis and
Hutus, Shiites and Sunnis – and even Roman Catholic and
In a world that is intrinsically self-seeking, we know that
people never have and never will live at peace with one another and their environment. As Christians we know why.
We also know that it was for this purpose that Jesus came:
to bring peace and to reconcile the world to Himself.
What sometimes feels uncertain to us is the role that
we are called upon to play in this wide-ranging ministry of
reconciliation. We may wonder: if we have trouble living in
peace with our Christian brothers and sisters and cousins,
how can we help minister reconciliation to others?
We can clarify these questions by examining what reconciliation means. Reconciliation today runs the risk of becoming a clichéd word. Given new popularity by the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1995, which
examined human rights abuses from the apartheid regime,
the concept is generally associated with efforts at resolving
conflict and fostering peace between warring communities
and nations. It’s more than merely an end to conflict.
Lawyers, counsellors, conflict resolution professionals
and peace negotiators use various techniques to foster recon-
ciliation. Jesus’ call for us to be peacemakers clearly includes
these kinds of work in domestic settings and at a national
level. We engage in them not as know-it-alls but as imperfect
channels through whom the Holy Spirit can work.
We are kingdom rep-
to work tirelessly in
reconciling our lost
world to God
November / December 2009