The Hiebert's are dear friends of mine. They lived in Venezuela for 7 years, but this January they relocated to Mexico City to work among English speaking internationals who live in that city. Jolie and I have partnered with and supported them for a number of years now and this winter our church supported them financially; helping them cover some of their transition expenses.
Yesterday i was on their website and I read Angela’s personal profile. It captures her perfectly but I want you to take note of the first two sentences:
I love God and I love people. I love seeing those two come together. I do it over coffee, walking outside, enjoying my husband and kids, showing hospitality in our home or in lineups at grocery stores.
Wow. That’s perfect. “I love God and I love people. I love seeing those two come together.” Our command and commission as Jesus people beautifully and succinctly summarized. I don’t think I’ve ever heard it said better.
Ministry of Reconciliation
Now, a second thought. This morning I read 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 which in part reads:
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
The “ministry of reconciliation”. The line jumped out to me because of what I had read from Angela. What is the ministry of reconciliation? It is the ministry of seeing two things come together. Now, in Jesus kingdom, this ministry extends into all spheres of creation. The New Testament is particularly concerned with inter-personal relationships - especially between those groups who traditionally war against each other: Jew-Greek, male-female, slave-free. In Christ, and because of Christ, these two things come together. Where there is war and disharmony, the scriptures say: be reconciled to one another.
But that being said, there is little doubt that the scriptures have a primary concern toward our reconciliation to God. He’s drawing all people to himself. And central to this drawing work is people. People who love him. People who love others. And people who then love seeing other people come together with God.
God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ… And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
I love God and I love people. I love seeing those two come together.
As for the “how?”, Angela goes on to describe how she does this:
“I do it over coffee, walking outside, enjoying my husband and kids, showing hospitality in our home or in lineups at grocery stores.”
It’s uniquely her - which will be true for all of us. In the ministry of reconciliation God will use the uniqueness of you. The passions and skills he put into you are not by mistake. They are intended for your joy and his purposes in the world.
And in the end, all you really need to say is simply this: “Lord, use me.”