“…I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus.” Philemon 10
The Father had a plan. By coming to earth, living a perfect life, sacrificing that life on a cross to pay the penalty of our sin, the Son executed the Father’s plan of redemption. And the Holy Spirit empowers us to respond to the Father’s plan by loving God and loving others.
This is what the Apostle Paul is striving to facilitate in his letter to Philemon—loving God and loving others. Because of the love and forgiveness that we have experienced in Jesus, Christ-followers are called to advocate for people like Onesimus and to reconcile with people like Philemon.
Perhaps there’s a bully at school who needs positive attention, an angry neighbor who needs to be loved, a frustrating boss who needs to be built up, a struggling employee who needs to be respected?
For the next few moments, I’d like to invite you to consider your life. To whom can you bring healing? What relationship can you work to restore? What friendship is in need of reconciliation? This call to reconcile isn’t necessarily extravagant or glorious. In fact, it might be a small, simple gesture. Yet, the result could be life changing! Is God asking you to offer a hand of friendship? Is God calling you to ask someone for forgiveness? Is God asking you to forgive someone?
For the believer in Christ, our faith journeys should regularly include the ministry of reconciliation and restoration in our own lives and in the lives of others.
Lord, thank you for drawing me close to you. Help me to respond by showing others your love. Reveal to me those I need to love, those I need to forgive, and those from whom I need to seek forgiveness. Bring reconciliation to your people. Amen.