Reconciliation is not a dream. It’s not an act of the imagination. As Chris Rice introduced the session on leadership and the beloved community, his words were intended to lighten the load leaders take on themselves: “What God is doing is real,” he said. “And it’s bigger than us. God is gathering the gifts of God’s church. God has given us everything we need, and now we offer those gifts to one another.”
As Paul put it: “In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us” (2 Cor. 5:19). Today’s ambassadors of reconciliation don’t create peace. Jesus has already done that. They don’t create the gifts. They receive them from the Holy Spirit and pass them on.
This doesn’t mean leaders don’t get worn out or exhausted. They do. Paul did. Many of the leaders at this institute are tired. Paul, in the same chapter, wrote, “In this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling” (5:3). At a particularly worn out moment in his journey, Chris shared yesterday that he received a word from God. “It’s not about you,” the Lord said. “It’s about me.”
That word from God is an invitation to receive strength and to embrace the Sabbath. Reconciliation is as sure as the promise of God’s work in Jesus Christ.
It’s not about us.