by Terry J. Hallock

Putting the Pieces Back Together
Pastor T. J. Hallock
2nd Corinthians 5:16-21; Parts of Ephesians 2, 4, 5 and 6
January 19, 2003

We live in a world that is torn to pieces. Nation is divided against nation. Race is set against race. Cultures clash against cultures. The poor are divided by a widening gap from the wealthy. Even the Church that Jesus prayed to the Father would be "one even as we are one" is divided by denomination, color, economics, politics, tradition and territory.

In this tattered world some of our own personal relationships may lie in broken pieces. Because the Body of Christ is a hospital for the wounded there may be someone here this morning divided from a spouse. There may be someone estranged from a parent, or alienated from a friend, or separated from a brother or sister in Christ.

But it doesn't have to be that way and we don't have to accept it. In Second Corinthians 5 God's Word makes it clear that as those saved by God's grace and redeemed by Jesus' blood we are called to be "ambassadors of reconciliation". We are representatives of Christ's kingdom carrying the message that in Jesus there is a way to pick up the pieces of broken families, friendships and fellowships and put them back together again.

God would not give us such a mission without showing us how to accomplish it. So let us allow His Word, particularly in 2nd Corinthians and Ephesians, teach us how to be "ambassadors of reconciliation" and start putting the pieces back together.

First, the Word teaches us that no matter what the estrangement is or where the alienation lies - whether it is between nations and races or between one individual and another -- SIN IS ALWAYS THE PROBLEM and THE DEVIL IS ALWAYS THE INSTIGATOR. Sociology isn't the problem in racism. Sin is the problem and the devil is the instigator. Conflict resolution isn't the problem in divorce. Sin is the problem and the devil is the instigator. Who's right and who's wrong isn't the problem ...

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