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One of the things Jesus did on the cross was to bring about reconciliation between people and God: ‘God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.’ (2 Cor 5:19) Sin created a chasm between mankind and God which the cross of Christ bridges, enabling us now to come into God’s presence with confidence. (Heb 4:16) Not only that, but because of the cross, we can now have reconciliation with other people, exemplified by the reconciliation between Jews and Gentiles: ‘he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.’ (Eph 2:14)

This has profound implications for us. We still live in a world divided by race, gender, age, sexuality and a whole host of other things. Every day, we face the choice to live shunning others for a whole myriad of reasons, or to embrace others, offering them this message of reconciliation. (2 Cor 5:17-21) James urges us to embrace heavenly wisdom, one characteristic of which is to be peace-loving. (Js 3:17-18) Jesus told us that peacemakers are blessed (Matt 5:9). They will be called children of God – a God whose name is the Prince of Peace. (Is 9:6)

Pray for opportunities to be a peacemaker today – to bring together instead of to drive apart. The world desperately needs such people – even if we have to do this online for now! Praying for all you parents who may have to be peacemakers between fractious children too. It’s not easy, but it is worth doing.