Since we are in this world, a constant element of life within the Church will be peacemaking, confession, forgiveness, reconciliation. Here is a form letter with some elements of one brother seeking reconciliation with another.
Think of that _______: When God turns Adam and Eve from the Garden the flaming sword guards the way in. God is utterly beyond our ability to see or hear — unless God first comes to us. What if God had never spoken? What if God had left us alone? The heavens could have been bronze, metal and judgment for all time. Even now when God has spoken the majority of the world never hears a word. God spoke — even to us. God invaded His privacy, God disclosed the love of Father and Son and Spirit, God has invited us into the infinite joy of His communion. We have been invited into fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
________, stop for a moment and serious consider — God had every right to ignore you, to leave you alone to your own heart, to seal up joy and love and mercy — but it was disclosed to you and I, to those men who did not and do not deserve it. So often we are like children, fighting over toys which will soon break, angry over who gets to sit in that particular seat of the car while ignoring the trip to Disneyland. What fools we can be! We have been given infinite wealth, an unending supply of mercy and love, hope and joy: The Father is an unending fountain of love.
Ecclesiastes 1:1–11 (ESV)
1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2 Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
3 What does man gain by all the toil
at which he toils under the sun?
4 A generation goes, and a generation comes,
but the earth remains forever.
5 The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
and hastens to the place where it rises.
6 The wind blows to the south
and goes around to the north;
around and around goes the wind,
and on its circuits the wind returns.
7 All streams run to the sea,
but the sea is not full;
to the place where the streams flow,
there they flow again.
8 All things are full of weariness;
a man cannot utter it;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
nor the ear filled with hearing.
9 What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there a thing of which it is said,
“See, this is new”?
It has been already
in the ages before us.
11 There is no remembrance of former things,
nor will there be any remembrance
of later things yet to be
among those who come after.
That is what we would have had God not spoken. Let those words sink into your consciousness. You know your body is already betraying you. You’re at retirement. All your money, your work, your reputation are less than vapor. Very soon, no one will even know your name. Your house will be gone. Given time not even Los Angeles or the United States will be easy to find. Great Babylon lies under the dirt. You are worm’s food; your work nothing; your life a mist — all of this is so if God does not speak. Do not live as the one who has not heard:
Hebrews 10:26–39 (ESV)
26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
32 But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33 sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34 For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. 35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. 37 For,
“Yet a little while,
and the coming one will come and will not delay;
38 but my righteous one shall live by faith,
and if he shrinks back,
my soul has no pleasure in him.”
39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.
Focus your heart upon the treasure which has flowed from the infinite mercy of the Father who has spoken. Stay there until your heart is raptured with joy:
Ephesians 1:3–14 (ESV)
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
And here then should be our prayer for one-another
Ephesians 1:15–23 (ESV)
15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
____, if the eyes of your heart are enlightened, that you may know the hope of our inheritance, why will you not speak of it with me? Come bless me. If I were your enemy, it would be your duty to bless me. Exodus 23:4–5 (ESV)
4 If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him. 5 If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it; you shall rescue it with him.
If I have sinned against you, you are called upon to overlook by sin and forgive it. Pursue me with mercy that you may be blessed. I have offered you forgiveness and mercy. You have my blessing and love: Think of it, our forgiveness, mercy, love are all spending the love, mercy and forgiveness of Christ: God has spoken and has lavished blessing upon us. What madman would hoard such wealth which only increases as it is spent! The mercy of God is like manna, it spoils if it is not used (Matt. 6:15).
1 Peter 3:8–9 (ESV)
8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.
[Making peace is to pursue to a blessing. There is a holy seeking of one’s own good in peacemaking. Matt. 5:9.]