Purpose in our Suffering – Part 6
There is, according to many theologians, no more important word in the vocabulary of salvation than the word “reconciliation.” It’s an interesting concept, but as one famous author put it, “I’ve never quarreled with God.” In other words, “I don’t need to be reconciled to someone I have never had open conflict with.”
And yet the reality is every person finds themselves estranged from God. A restoration of relationship needs to be accomplished. A new beginning needs to be found. And it cannot start with us.
It can only start with God!
Most of us are deeply moved by stories of families being mended, couples finding common ground, wayward children coming home. We are moved when neighbors in conflict shake hands, or when children fighting on the playground embrace and run laughing into more adventures together.
We get, I think, at the core of our being that reconciliation is an important concept. Maybe the most important one of all. If we see nothing else in the suffering of Christ, we must see that, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting people’s sins against them.” (2 Corinthians 5:18) What a power concept! God, the offended, came to us in the person of Jesus Christ for the purpose of reconciling us to Himself! Even for the one who didn’t know that he and God had been “quarreling,” God came and gave Himself a reconciling sacrifice.
No greater love has ever been displayed. No greater opportunity has ever been offered… that we, through the blood shed at the cross of Jesus, can find peace with God… and know it forever! We have received a great and gracious gift.
And now, we are to live it out: “He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:19) We are now to be “reconciled reconcilers.” We have a ministry, a message to proclaim.
But first, we have to live it!
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here. All of this is from God who reconciled us through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.” 2 Cor 5:15-16
FOR REFLECTION: God, please help me to share the message of reconciliation with _______________.