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  • Writer's pictureElpidio Pezzella

Bridges to Build

"That is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation".

(2 Corinthians 5:19 NKJV)

After the pandemic from Covid 19 we had deluded ourselves that the world would be a better place and that everyone would value their relationships. All it took was to take off our masks to return to being not only what we were before, but worse. The daily news shock us with inconceivable facts in an unparalleled escalation of violence. Then the wars, first in Ukraine and now in Israel. Usually in bombings, to limit the enemy's movement, they immediately target the main routes of connection and consequently the bridges. Bridges, in fact, connect. They characterize our built environment, and in our country we have some that have endured for millennia. The bridge is also a symbol of bridging gaps and cultural differences and the departure to new horizons. It is a tool available to man to join and cross the world. There is much more behind a bridge: the result of a constructive process, of brotherhood, when it enables going and returning, that is, building relationships and sharing. Anyone who has embraced the principles of the Christian faith should carry imprinted in his or her spiritual DNA the attitude to pontificate, in the true sense of the word, to demolish barriers, to shorten distances, to work for reunion and rapprochement.


Among the stories in my weekly videos, I tell the story of two brothers who had always shared everything. So much so that once they grew up, they lived next door to each other, cooperating in field work. One day, however, they quarreled over a trivial matter, and neither of them was able to get over the incident, ending up never saying goodbye to each other again. Until there was a knock on the older brother's door from a carpenter looking for work, "Is there any work I can do?" "Yes," the man answered and took him to the back of his farmhouse. "You see that land, it's my brother's. We have been fighting for a long time and he has dug a deep furrow between me and him, channelling the waters of the river. There is wood piled up behind the barn, and I would like him to build me a fence so high that I can't see it anymore." "I understand, I'll take care of it." The owner went out on errands, leaving the carpenter to his work. When he returned, stuff to die for. The carpenter had finished the job, only instead of the fence he had made a bridge. He did not have time to get angry that he saw his brother coming with an outstretched hand, "I thank you, because I had created a furrow between us, while you built a bridge." Thus it was that peace was made. The brothers asked the carpenter to stay with them a few days for more work, but the answer was, "I have many bridges to build."


Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "All this, however, comes from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and entrusted to us the ministry of reconciliation. For it was God who reconciled the world to himself in Christ, not imputing their faults to men, and entrusting to us the word of reconciliation" (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). This word of reconciliation could be substantiated in a clarification in which one pledges not to repeat the wrong done and the other to forget the wrong done. This word God entrusted to us when he reconciled us in Christ. So it is not simply a clarification of what happened, but forgiveness. Jesus reconciled us to the Father by bringing our sin into his own life. And we are asked to do the same. Not to atone, but to forgive. Whatever the turmoil and anguish, I want to remind you that the certainty of Christ's finished work also prompts us to confident prayer for supernatural intervention, because God has an ear outstretched to our listening. He is not deaf to those who turn to Him. Therefore, whatever the circumstance, even when the magnitude of pain seems to overwhelm you, when you struggle to lay the foundation of a bridge, do not hesitate to cry out to Him, "Lord, deliver my soul!" (Psalm 116:4). Scripture clearly attests that God is merciful, compassionate and just (Exodus 34:6; Joel 2:13), and He does not extinguish the smoking lamp (Isaiah 42:3). He will not be indifferent to your, and our, plight. He will thus know how to give us the boost we need.


 

Weekly Bible Reading Plan #44 October 23, Jeremiah 1-2; 1 Timothy 3 October 24, Jeremiah 3-5; 1 Timothy 4 October 25, Jeremiah 6-8; 1 Timothy 5 October 26, Jeremiah 9-11; 1 Timothy 6 October 27, Jeremiah 12-14; 2 Timothy 1 October 28, Jeremiah 15-17; 2 Timothy 2 October 29, Jeremiah 18-19; 2 Timothy 3




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