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30th October: Making Peace (1)

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called Sons of God. Matthew 5:9. So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal though us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:20

Our world is full of divisions and conflicts, big wars and little wars, declared and undeclared. Some are between nations and between all sorts of groups. Some are between individuals. Some are within individuals' own selves. We cannot be indifferent to any of them and must do what we can to foster peace. But those in the last group, those with conflicts within themselves, are the ones of whom doctors are most aware, for they are the patients who come to them for help. In all cases the need is to make peace, to bring about reconciliation. (It is something that we know is in the heart of God. For man's greatest and first need is to be reconciled to God, from whom he is separated by his own rebellion. And God has acted to bring about reconciliation: `in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation' (2 Cor 5:19).

As Christians we are involved in this. And as doctors we are involved not only in this, but in the need for reconciliation, for peace, within people. How often the Christian doctor will find the opportunity, and how far he will feel he has the right to venture into a patient's need for reconciliation to God will no doubt vary. It should never be far from his mind, but it seems that some have a gift for this which others lack. Be that as it may, it always required much wisdom and grace. It may well be that, just because of what he is going though, a patient is more aware of his spiritual need than he would be at other times. And this will become apparent. But it should never be forgotten that there is such a thing as spiritual privacy. A doctor may not intrude into a patient's private life unless he is invited.

God of peace and love, take my lips and speak through them;
take my mind and think through it;
take my heart and set it on fire
with love for you and for the people you have made.

Further reading: 2 Cor 5:11-21.


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