Bridge over troubled waters
“‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
Matthew 5:9 (NRSV)
There were two brothers who lived on two farms next to each other. They were separated by a small river. The brothers got on very well with each other – they helped each other with managing their farms and socialised together. Until one day something happened which put them at loggerheads with each other. It was a serious rift, so much so, that they would not help each other, or even talk to each other.
One day a stranger came along. It turned out that he was a carpenter. Ah, thought one of the brothers, just what I need. He said to the carpenter, ‘I’ve got to go down to town today, would you mind doing something for me? Do you see this crossing over the river? I want you to build a wall cutting it off, let’s say about ten feet high. When I get back just give me your bill and I’ll pay you accordingly.’ And off he went.
When the brother got back he was surprised and astounded at what he saw. The carpenter had built not a wall but a bridge! And there was the other brother coming across it to greet him. ‘What on earth have you done?’ the first brother said, ‘I asked for a wall.’ The carpenter replied, ‘Yes, but a bridge seemed more appropriate.’ The rift was healed.
I don’t know what Simon & Garfunkel would have made of this. I think I know what Jesus Christ would have done, and I am sure that when there are rifts between His brothers and sisters He would send the Holy Spirit to inspire healing of them. After all, isn’t that what grace is all about?
God doesn’t want us to be at odds with each other, but it happens. And Jesus said those who are peacemakers and attempt to heal rifts are blessed (Matthew 5:9).
Lord there is so much trouble in this world. May I be a peacemaker. In Jesus Christ’s name. Amen
Study by Christopher Reeve
About the writer:
Christopher Reeve is a Minister and Assistant Pastor of the Invicta Fellowship, Blean (Canterbury), a congregation of Grace Communion International.
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