2 Corinthians 5:17-20

“So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.”

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Greetings to you in the name of the Resurrected One!

As often is the case, I was stirred by one of the e-newsletters that I receive from our congregations in the Desert Southwest Conference.

The scripture passage above was the focus, and in particular the reality of God constantly creating in us as God’s children.

God at work always and already points to the mysterious and startling grace of God which churns within each and every one of us, and to God speaking into being the Body of Christ, or that holy space of hope and reconciliation where we live as kin.

I appreciate the very next verse, which shares, “So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

It has been nourishing to witness all of you serving as ambassadors in so many varied and unique ways.

Doris Donnelly offers the following:

“When Paul passes the mantle of ambassadorial rank to each of us, we may surmise two things: First, that God’s intention for the world is unity, and second, that the mission to gather the world as one that was begun by Jesus was left incomplete by him. That mission was delegated to the community of believers gathered in his name. Each of us is an ambassador in the service of a leader who deputizes us to spread news of peace, restoration, and collaboration to a world sorely in need of this news. There are few things about which God is more persistent than this—that each of us engage in this ministry of reconciliation and bring it to completion. It is nothing less than our meaning, our historical destiny, and our corporate identity.” — “Ambassadors of Reconciliation,” Weavings

Our “mantle of ambassadorial rank” does stretch us and at times places us into challenging places physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It asks us to forgive as God has forgiven. Nonetheless, the message as Christ bearers is one which people hunger and thirst for…namely, peace, restoration and collaboration.

Thank you for how you seek to speak peace and forgiveness into the moments God guides you into.

Thank you how you encourage God’s restorative work in the varied spaces of ministry which you serve.

Thank you for the trust you exhibit in engaging in collaborative ministry, which witnesses to the reality that we are on this journey together.

And, thank you for the incredible privilege it has been to serve alongside of all of you. Your love, encouragement, wisdom, guidance, and witness have been more of a blessing than you can ever imagine.

Peace
Neil Leftwich Signature

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