August 15, 2018

The Ministry of Reconciliation

August 15, 2018


Psalm 57
2 Samuel 19:1-18
John 6:35-40
This weekend’s reading: Genesis 3:1-13


In 2 Samuel 19, we see David’s leadership abilities. First, he listens to advisors and weighs their counsel. In this case Joab speaks quite bluntly to him about his attitude and his need to reconcile the people—even the rebels—in spite of his personal grief. David listened and, with courage and insight, finds the words of kinship that will unify the people. He was a gifted communicator and builder of relationships.
Perhaps David’s greatest gift as a leader is his ability to put aside his frustration and disappointment with those who betrayed him and get to the heart of the matter: the unity of God’s people. Nelson Mandela was one such leader in our time who knew that achieving truth and reconciliation in order to build community required forgiveness and letting go his own grievances. We pray for leaders who guide us to God’s justice and mercy, and for the resolve to work for peace.
Breaking bread together as the body of Christ is the sign of our unity in God’s love. Jesus, “the Bread of life” (John 6:35), calls us to live life in all its fullness, nourished by him and embraced in the community of God’s resurrection household.

“One bread, one body, one Lord of all
One cup of blessing which we bless
And we, though many throughout the earth
We are one body in this one Lord.” (United Methodist Hymnal # 620, John Foley, S.J.)


  • In John 6:35, Jesus says “I am the bread of life.” How does this saying relate to our celebration of Holy Communion? What does it mean to be one body in Christ Jesus?
  • Earlier in John 6, a young boy shares his lunch, and Jesus uses it to feed the multitude. How does following Jesus’ example of feeding hungry people connect us with Jesus, the Bread of Life?


  • Talk about the prayers we use before meals at our family tables. Write one together that reminds us that Jesus is the Bread of Life.
  • Plan a family project of collecting food and giving it away in Jesus’ name.


Come, Lord Jesus: be our guest, but also be our Bread of Life, our Word that comes from God. As you feed us and give us life, teach us to feed your sheep, to remember those with empty tables and longing hearts. Keep us in the communion of the Holy Spirit. Amen.