April 14, 2010

Love Reconciles

2 Corinthians 5:17-21

God … reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:18


These verses are a key for believing in and living out the work of Christ. They describe the reconciling God, who embraces us through Christ and makes us agents of reconciliation. Reconcile means “bring back together.” Christian reconciliation is based on Jesus’ work in making us “one” with God again. He accomplished this by paying the price of our sin.

Picture a mother embracing a grown child who has come back after rejecting her for many years. That’s reconciliation. But their embrace probably depends on removing roadblocks in their relationship. That’s what Christ does in our relationship with God. Pushing aside the roadblocks of our sin and guilt, God reconciles us to himself through faith in his Son.

God also gives us the ministry of reconciliation. We are to treat others as God has treated us. This is difficult, and the devil works against us. Reconciliation ministry means working personally and together to bridge interpersonal, family, and social separations.

Reconciliation crosses gaping chasms of injustice, racism, and alienation. Sufferers of sinful exclusion cry out in our churches and communities and throughout God’s world. This is not the way it’s supposed to be! Jesus’ prayer is that we may be one. He died and rose to make that possible. We need to do our part as reconcilers.

Lord, we live in your loving embrace because of Jesus. May we, as your people, urgently take up the ministry of reconciliation. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

About the author — John Rozeboom

Rev. John Rozeboom is a retired pastor of the Christian Reformed Church and a former director of Christian Reformed Home Missions. Currently he is coaching and supporting elders, ministers, and a congregation in mission. John and Linda Rozeboom live in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and they have two married children and five grandchildren.

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