Part of our sinful condition is that we are often alienated from one another. Our relationships are fragile and easily ruptured. Once broken, our relationships are not easily repaired, but Christ calls us to seek reconciliation. Responding to that call means taking a risk.
It’s risky because it hurts to extend a hand in reconciliation and have it slapped away, but Christ calls us to a ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5.18*). And Christ, the open hand of God extended to all the human race, was himself “despised and rejected” (Isaiah 53.3). Yet again and again, even unto this very day, through the Holy Spirit, God reaches out to humanity offering forgiveness and extending an offer of reconciliation. Sometimes it is accepted, often it is rejected (sometimes even by those of us who have previously committed ourselves to accepting it), but, undaunted, God never ceases reaching out.
We are called to make God’s unrelenting love our example and guide; and to trust that God’s love is sufficient to pick us up when we get slapped down.
*All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. (NRSV)