“The Holy City is not the Church of this country only, but of the whole world as well: not that of this age only, but from Abel himself down to those who shall to the end be born and believe in Christ, the whole assembly of the Saints, belonging to one city; which city is Christ’s body, of which Christ is the Head. There, too, dwell the Angels, who are our fellow-citizens: we toil, because we are as yet pilgrims: while they within that city are awaiting our arrival. Letters have reached us too from that city, apart from which we are wandering: those letters are the Scriptures, which exhort us to live well.” -Augustine, Exposition of Psalm 91
BTW NOTES: Many places on the internet simply offer the paraphrase “Scriptures are our letters from home.” However, the above is the direct quote. The paraphrase is close, but it’s not exactly what Augustine said (as far as I can tell).
“Just as circumcision was the mark of grace in the Old Covenant, baptism is the mark of grace in the New Testament, the mark of God on those who are his. As Covenant signs, circumcision and baptism speak of the promises of God and symbolize the donation of those promises to authorised candidates, but, as promises, they only modulate into the spiritual realities of which they speak by the sovereign decision of God and the exercise of personal faith.” -Alec Motyer, A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Loving the Old Testament
Reconciliation needs to happen in the shadow of the cross. Because one subtle threat to reconciliation is that I may ‘take this person back’ into my life, but only as someone I now deem to be inferior to me. I’ll take them back on my agenda, not God’s. At the cross, I realize how problematic it is: my sins caused monstrous harm to someone too–they caused the death of the Son of God. At the cross I see my sin, but also the goal of the Gospel which is that my brother with whom I am angry would have an “equal share” in the inheritance of the kingdom (Col. 1:12-14).
‘The Lord’s people are called to help each other grow up. We are called to know and be known by each other. We are called to counsel each other, to be change agents in each other’s lives.’ -David Powlison