Archive for January 19th, 2021



Written by Rev. Jeffrey A. Bos, a contemporary pastor. This is an excerpt from his work “The Christian’s Work of Reconciliation: Bringing God’s Peace and Harmony to Earth.”

A Palestinian priest Elias Chacour recounts an incident in his congregation in Ibillin, Israel.  He and his people suffered greatly in the midst of conflict.  The village of Ibillin was also bitterly divided.  Chacour began preaching about the importance of ecumenical and inter-church relations but without success.  The only positive result was a note from one of his parishioners urging him “Begin first to reconcile brothers, sisters, families together.”  Chacour was struck by these words.  On the Sunday before Easter, he decided to do something.  As he celebrated the Lord’s Supper, he “could see so many people who were at odds with each other.”  In fact, he realized that every time he turned to bless the congregation, to give them Christ’s peace, he was reminded that in reality there was no peace among these people.  Such peace had always been refused.   At the conclusion of the service, before anyone could move, Chacour walked down the center aisle.  At the back of the church, he locked the only two doors and took the key.  He then marched back up the aisle, turned around, and told the people that he loved them but was saddened to find them so filled with hate for one another.  In the midst of stunned silence, he went on to say: “So on Christ’s behalf, I say this to you: the doors of the church are locked.  Either you kill each other here in your hatred and then I will celebrate your funerals, or you use the opportunity to be reconciled together…If that reconciliation happens, Christ will truly become your Lord, and I will know I am becoming your pastor and your priest.  That decision is now yours.”  Inside that locked church in Israel, ten minutes passed.  No one said a word.  Finally, one man stood up.  He was a Palestinian serving as an Israeli policeman and was in his uniform.  He stretched out his arms and said, “I ask forgiveness of everybody here and I forgive everybody.  And I ask God to forgive me my sins.”  This man and Chacour then embraced.  Chacour then called for everybody in the church to embrace one another.  Tears and laughter mingled as people who had said ugly words to each other or had not spoken to each other in years were now sharing the love and peace of Christ. Chacour told the congregation: “This is our resurrection!  We are a community that has risen from the dead, and we have new life.,,I will unlock the doors and then let us go from home to home and sing the resurrection hymn to everyone!”  After the people left the church, Chacour removed the locks from the church doors and threw them away.,,The incident related by Chacour took place fifty years ago.  Years later the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis continues, and Christians are still in the middle of it.   However, this is where reconciliation must begin.  In its history, the church has known hostility and conflict, but we also believe that God is working in our churches to bring reconciliation. 


Written by Gregory the Great (?-604), Pope known for large-scale mission from Rome to convert the Anglo-Saxons in England to Christianity. 

Dear Father, by Your wondrous condescension of Loving kindness toward us, Your servants, You gave up Your Son.  Dear Jesus, You paid the debt of Adam for us to the Eternal Father by Your Blood poured forth in Loving-Kindness.  You cleared away the darkness of sin by Your magnificent and radiant Resurrection.  You broke the bonds of death and rose from the grave as a Conqueror.  You reconciled Heaven and earth. Our life had no hope of Eternal Happiness before You redeemed us. Your Resurrection has washed away our sins, restored our innocence and brought us joy.  How inestimable is the tenderness of Your Love! Amen.

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