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Settling Disputes: Not for United Methodist Christians Only

April 6, 2019

Bishop Ken Carter writes, 

On Sunday (March 31, 2019) I preached from the lectionary, 2 Corinthians 5. The Greek word for reconciliation is katallage. It is a word that appears only three times in the New Testament, and was a word more commonly used in politics than in religion. It is a word about settling disputes.

God settled a dispute with us through the cross. And God now asks us to move toward, not away from each other, as we take up this ministry of reconciliation.

It is linked, Paul will go on to say in the first verses of 2 Corinthians 6, to our salvation. Our salvation is not in fleeing from each other; the triune God did not flee from us. Our salvation is the way of the cross, our settling disputes with each other.

Finally, our hope is in the power and providence of God, in whose image we are all created, in whose church we joined through public promises, and into whose agenda we are invited.

That agenda is to resist the forces of evil, injustice and oppression, and to turn to the crucified and risen Jesus, our judge and our hope.

For the signs of hope, in conversations, in grace extended, and in justice sought, I give thanks. God is not finished with us yet.

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