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Fences and Bridges

St Paul writes: “God reconciled us to himself through  Christ…& he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.  We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us”

Two brothers once lived on adjoining farms & after 40 years of working together harmoniously, had the mother & father of all fall-outs.

One morning, there was a knock on the older brother’s door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter’s toolbox. “I’m looking for a few days’ work,” he said. “Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there that I could help with?

“Yes,I do have a job for you. Look across that stream at that farm. That’s my younger brother’s. Last week, there was a meadow between us, but he took his bulldozer and dug a small river between us. Well I’m going go one better. See that pile of old timber? I want you to build an 8 foot high fence between us. Then I won’t need to see his place or his face anymore.”

The carpenter said, “Show me the nails and the tools, and I’ll do a good job for you.”

The older brother had to go to town, and when he got back at the end of the day, he couldn’t believe what had happened. There was no fence there at all. Instead, the carpenter had built a bridge that stretched from one side of the river to the other.

And his younger brother, was coming toward them, his hand outstretched. “You’re quite something ,” he said, “after all I’ve said and done.”

The two brothers met in the middle, and shook each other’s hand. They turned to see the carpenter leaving.

“No, wait! Stay a few days. I’ve a lot of other projects for you,” said the older brother.

“I’d love to,” the carpenter said, “but I have many more bridges to build.”

To be reconciled, to be at peace with one another, to build bridges – this is the intent of the carpenter from Nazareth.  It must be ours also.

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Filed under The Ramblings of a Reformed Ecclesiastic