Ambassadors of Reconciliation
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself
and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;
that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself,
not counting their trespasses against them,
and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.
We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
2 Corinthians 5:18-20
Christ empowered and commanded His followers to heal because He knew that all men, in their exterior relationships and within themselves, are broken and separated. In order to gain wholeness and the opportunity to mature as persons, we must acknowledge and deeply repent of the separations in our lives. The primary separation is between the self and God, out of which issue the separations between the self and other selves, the self and nature, and the self and one’s “deep heart.” 
These separations cause our most private shame and strife, and are behind every societal evil and environmental catastrophe. Praise God, all can be reconciled! We must begin by admitting that we are fractured, and yield to Christ as Lord and Healer. Those who initiate change with hearts yet separated from God will stumble and err, but those who have Another indwelling their hearts become ambassadors for Christ. Maturity comes through successive reconciliations, of coming home again and again into ever-deepening union with God.
Gracious Lord, we thank you for the warm eyes of compassion with which you behold brokenness. Thank you for seeing through our layers of denial, self-seeking, and striving, calling us out of our miserable separations. Thank you for Your steadfast, reconciling presence in every place in this world. We confess that like sheep, we have gone astray, and we ask you to come now and lead us back home. Raise us up in the particular vocations You’ve ordained for each of us, that we might make Your appeal to whomever You send us. We long to see Your reconciling work completed in us, among us, and around us.
 Leanne Payne, The Healing Presence (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 1995), 37.
Painting: John Macallan Swan, 1888, The Prodigal Son [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
Meditation prepared by Sarah Colyn, drawing on the writings and ministry of Leanne Payne.