Thank you!Morning Prayer & FinalsChristmas EveNew dates for focus groupsPeeps contest winnersThe stories behind Advent musicSaying farewellAdopt-a-Family 2011Advent Christmas Vespers 2011Church musicians' conferenceBible exhibit at Chapel, CCLIRPastor is featured speakerGraduation newsHandbell concertIce cream!Learn about the PsalmsOver $5,000 for JapanAll Saints' remembranceArchived NewsSenior service marks end of 2013-14PSJS 2011Senior Service, BaccalaureateHandbell Spring ConcertThanking seniors & volunteersEnd of year servicesPrayer Walk is Oct. 30Easter Peeps Contest winners announcedGospel praise service"Color 4 a Cause" helps YAWA ProjectStudents design candleHoly Week 2011'Wrestling with our Callings'About Palm SundayChange MalariaThe Way of the CrossVigil for victims of violenceWRC raises $14,000Easter diorama contest returnsRemembering Pastor DarleneChapel addition groundbreakingSculpture honors former pastorSumo wrestling for WRCWangerin Preaching Series ends April 27Dr. Bernthal retiring5K & Babysitting benefit WRCPeeps contest winners announcedTalk about griefPastor Jim joins honored authorsHelping victimized womenUpcoming musical eventsCome home to the ChapelPraying for JapanDr. David Schmitt concludes preaching seriesELCA pastor finalistsHoly Week 2014 scheduleTanzanian dinner supports WRCJoin in Via Crucis 2014 planningSpring break 2011Late night worship at the ChapelEnter the Easter Peeps ShowSem reps visitBowls for the hungryPoet coming to VUHoly Week servicesEaster lilies for the ChapelMemorial Service for Dr. KrekelerSpring retreatSoup bowls for the hungryRemembering JaneSenior ServiceExplore baptismChapel jobs for 2013-14Going on a spring break trip?Arts-a-Budding 2014'Beware of Christians'Arts-a-Budding 2011'Healthy Boundaries'Meet a deacWho's speaking at Morning Prayer?Ash WednesdayInternational art showJoin Fellowship Hall Fellowship Hall, Peer Ministry sign upsSem reps to visitInterfaith Youth CoreScholarships for Lutheran studentsBSO vigil April 11Video reflections wantedPlug into Bible studyLSTC Pizza NightStudents forming campus ministry networkSummer camp fairJohnson to be installedBlack history praise serviceOrgan recital canceledAsh Wed. Feb. 13Calling all PeepsSunday morning prayer team This month's Global Music EventConsidering Concordia St. Louis?Life Tree Retreat offeredSummer 2014 internshipBusy person's retreatPraying for Christian Unity6 spring break service tripsMemorial service for Dr. MarionLuther Seminary offers scholarship9/11 Flag Lowering EventEpiphanies on the way to reconciliationGospel Choir to sing for MLK SundayThe Beloved CommunityLutheran Basketball TimeMLK Day at the ChapelRemembering Virginia ShingletonStudents help food pantryMorning Prayer leaders neededTell your servant storyPastor Cox's InstallationMP moves to 10 for finals weekHandbell Christmas ConcertChristmas EveVasquez next in Wangerin seriesAdopt a familyMealcard money helps pantryVigil for victims of violenceEat. Pray. Love.2009-2010 NewsA salute to December gradsAdvent Christmas Vespers 2013Advent Christmas Vespers 2010Lend your voice to Gospel ChoirTown Hall meeting setPastor Jim's cartoon publishedMorning Prayer time surveySpiritual Direction OfferedFt Wayne Seminary visitsHandbell Concert at 8 p.m. SaturdaySeeking student feedbackMusic Under the GalleryQuilts honor veteransNew Phone NumberSilent film is Dec. 7Handbell ConcertLend a hand!SISLenten vespers & art receptionAdvent Christmas VespersGospel Choir newsThanksgiving Meal plannedLive in Fellowship Hall next yearLuther's BirthdayJohn Nunes preaches Dec. 2ndRemembering the departedHarvest PartyTheology Lecture presentedSponberg memorial serviceAlum gives organ recitalPeace and Social Justice SymposiumGood grief?Face-to-face with Invisible ChildrenAsh Wednesday servicesRemembering troops at ChristmasRetreat Planned for Nov. 5-7All Saints 2013Gospel Praise Service is Oct. 26Susan Briehl preaching Nov. 11Vespers Services for Lilly ConferenceGross lecturesSummer worship scheduleChristian Wolff preaches Oct. 17Leadership and Service in ActionLutheran Festival of Writing Student Volunteers Needed for ShopFaith conversationsMental health nightPrayer WalkELCA pastorProf. Dietz to be rememberedGlobal Music Oct. 12Beautiful Feet Mission ConferenceMemorial service is Feb. 12Homeless & Hungry2008-2009 NewsVigil is Oct. 11Study in BostonSubmit names of loved onesHomecoming 2010Staff in the newsFood & FellowshipLutheran Volunteer CorpWhat will you do after Valpo?Sunday Prayer Team CROP WalkLifetree RetreatLemonade, anyone?WRC projects soughtMeet Bible translatorsSALT, BRO reach outSearch begins for new university pastor (ELCA)Founders Day at the ChapelChristian mentorsBernthal Organ Recital Jan. 29Homecoming Events at Chapel"On Our Way" AvailableImmigration Reform is Topic of TalkSeminary Day Oct 2Wangerin Preaching SeriesChoir Sings for InstallationMorning Prayer at 10 a.m.Campus Ministries FairChurch Voc RetreatGlobal Missions Rep Visits Sept. 14Late Nite at the ChapelOn Our WayGlobal Music Sept. 14Free praise band workshopCommunity Organist FestivalWelcome SundayInterested in Gospel Choir?In remembranceSummer worship at VUCAPicnic Time!Pastor Cunningham ResignsWelcome SundayFighting MalariaRuben Studdard and Gospel ChoirChapel Late NiteMajor gift announced5K Registration Form 2010Gospel Choir News
Epiphanies on the way to reconciliation

Rembrandt's Return of the Prodigal Son

We're right in the middle of the Epiphany season at the Chapel of the Resurrection. It's a time for recognizing the identity of Jesus as God's chosen one who brings life and salvation to all of humanity when he, who is both our God and our brother, comes among us.

The Bible readings for this season recount story after story of how both Jesus' humanity and divinity are made evident in word and deed throughout his ministry. These readings bear witness to the identity of Jesus. They are the means of epiphany (or revelation) for us and, beyond bringing news to us, they call us to bear witness to the presence of Christ in the world.

There are all kinds of ways to bear such witness. One that is often overlooked, but sorely needed, is that of working for reconciliation when relationships are strained or broken. My guess is that all of us can think of one person with whom our relationship is marked by tension, if it isn't broken. Reconciliation of conflict is often hard work and it's nearly always laden with fear and anxiety, but the same Scriptures that announce the presence of Jesus can also serve as a guide along the way. 

Mediator Ken Sande, in his book The Peacemaker, outlines four steps that mark the path toward reconciliation. He calls them, "The Four G's." I have found them a helpful outline in my life and offer Sande's summary here.

  1. Glorify God: When the Apostle Paul urged the Corinthians to live "to the glory of God," he was not talking about one hour on Sunday morning. He wanted them to show God honor and bring him praise in day-to-day life, especially by the way that they resolved personal conflicts (see 1 Cor. 10:31).
  2. Get the log out of your own eye: One of the most challenging principles of peacemaking is set forth in Matthew 7:5, where Jesus says, "You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." Before we engage others, it's critical that we take stock of the role we've played escalating the conflict. Our role may be a critical or negative attitude or it may be sinful words or actions. Confessing these failings in a reconciling conversation is a key to sustained resolution. An honest assessment of our own role may lead us to resolve to overlook minor offenses against us.
  3. Gently Restore: When it's time to speak honestly with the other person, we do so with the goal of restoring the relationship, not condemning their actions or attitude. Our manner strives to be gentle, neither patronizing nor incendiary. 
  4. Go and be reconciled: One of the most unique features of biblical peacemaking is the pursuit of genuine forgiveness and reconciliation. Remember that forgiveness is a spiritual process that you cannot fully accomplish on your own. Therefore, as you seek to forgive others, continually ask God for grace to enable you to imitate his wonderful forgiveness toward you.

A more detailed description of the principals of Biblical peacemaking described in Ken Sande's book is available at http://tinyurl.com/peacemaking

As always, if you would like to talk personally with a pastor about these or any other issues in your life, Pastor Char and I are available to meet with you.

Peace and joy,

Pr. Jim

Jan. 22, 2013

Rev. James A. Wetzstein and Rev. Charlene M. Rachuy Cox serve as university pastors at Valpo and take turns writing weekly reflections.