“So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new. All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.” – 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Reconcile 1. To reestablish a close relationship between. 2 to settle or resolve. 3. To bring oneself to accept. He finally reconciled himself to the change. 4. To make compatible or consistent. Reconcile my way of thinking with yours.
The very good news in 2 Corinthians is, in Christ, there is a new creation; everything has become new. The first thing to notice is that God has reconciled us to God’s self. Exactly where many of us are stuck. “Why did God let XXXX suffer so?” “There is terrible cruelty all over our world and why doesn’t God seem to care?” ”Where is God when I’m wounded? – why doesn’t God heal our pains?” But St. Paul assures us that we are beloved by God. Can we accept that?
And now God “has given us the ministry of reconciliation!” That’s a lot to handle. But to repeat: God has made a new creation in Christ – and it’s us! The good gift is, we are reconciled with God. God wants us to know God’s love. God is welcoming with open arms. The only barriers are on our side, not God’s.
And yet many of us, even if securely reconciled with God, are still dealing with the next step. God is “entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.” That’s our work now. I have a hard time living up to God’s exalted expectations for us. But then, so did St. Paul. Reading through Paul’s letters, there are multiple instances of times the gospel teams break up and reshape themselves over weighty disagreements and differences– even Peter and Paul had to work hard to negotiate a way to be faithful to God’s call, to reconcile – and it wasn’t always amicable!
Reconciliation, while godly, is not as easy as we might hope. The work goes on. It’s our work. How are we doing?
Dear Lord, Please draw us nearer to you in Christ, and guide us in the holy work of reconciliation. Amen.