Paul embodies the life of reconciliation. But reconciliation is not devoid of tact and graciousness. In Paul’s appeal to Philemon he begins with grace and greetings, rather than accusation and forceful terms. Paul’s reconciliatory letter is a mediatorial letter. Pastors–in one sense–and parishioners–in another sense–carry this mediatorial role.

Reconciling Philemon and Onesimus requires wisdom; a wisdom that we need to exercise in reconciling brothers and the world. Like Jesus, reconciliation first demands death before life can be breathed into brokenness.


About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
This entry was posted in Counseling/Pastoral Issues, Philemon. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Reconciliation

  1. Except for when actions are not in step with the truth of the gospel: eating together as one body, not fearing the circumcision party, the credo-communion party, etc. When that happens, “grace and greetings” are wisely not used but rather “accusation and forceful terms” bring about reconciliation.

    But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”

    Considering our current prevalent eating division between believing parents and their children and the pastors that lead astray: “If you, though a Christian, eat like a Christian and not like a pagan, how can you force the children to eat like pagans?” Feed his lambs. Do not hinder them.

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