LENTEN CONNECTIONS: A Time for Reconciliation

18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

2 Corinthians 5:18-21 (TNIV)

R-E-C-O-N-C-I-L-I-A-T-I-O-N: I am not sure I would want to be asked to spell the word in a spelling bee. In fact, I am grateful for my spell-check every time I write it! Now, if I struggle so with spelling the word, I wonder if I will be able to understand it. But, I do know this; reconciliation is at the heart of the Christian message. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 tells us that a Christ-follower needs to understand and be a minister of reconciliation. Furthermore, reconciliation is vital to Easter and an appropriate concept to reflect upon during the Lenten season.

My accountant friend tells me that reconciliation involves adjusting the difference between two items so that the figures agree, then explaining the reasons for the differences. Likewise, in 2 Corinthians 5:19, we discover that we are not in agreement with God. The reason—-sin in our life makes us hostile towards God. God however, took the initiative and changed what was once a relationship of antagonism to one of friendship. We are brought into agreement because of God’s love demonstrated through his son, Jesus. God in Christ made the sinless Christ an offering for us so that we in Christ can become the righteousness of God. This love, this gift, is for everyone (2 Cor. 5: 15). Isn’t this what Easter is all about?

So then we have been reconciled to God. How amazing! As truly astounding as this is, there is more; the reconciled are to become reconcilers. We are to tell others about God’s work of reconciliation. Having understood that reconciliation has its source in God and having Jesus as our model, we are to be ambassadors proclaiming this earth-altering message. Are we? Perhaps the Lenten season is a good time to give ourselves space to consider this and then to offer our lives afresh to God for this purpose.

“Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim,
Till all the world adore his sacred name.” George Kitchin

Prayer: Holy God, thank you for the gift of your son, who has reconciled us to you. Help us to capture the meaning of reconciliation in our minds so that it may dwell deeply in our hearts. And as we ponder this big word this season, help it to influence our lives in a big way—-a way that cannot help but be proclaimed to others. Amen.

Contributed by Daryl Ginter