“We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20
A few years ago, I had a dream about a friend of mine who I’d not been in contact with for a while. It was someone I had been very close to, and we had shared a lot together. However, this friend of mine had done, and said some things which had really hurt me. Without realising it, I withdrew from this person, probably to lick my wounds and protect myself from being hurt again. As I awoke from this dream, I sensed God wanted me to deal with this fractured relationship. I started to pray for forgiveness, and also for the courage to move forward. Amazingly, this friend who I had not spoken to for a year or so, contacted me soon afterwards. Whilst this was not initially easy, I felt God wanted me to put my pride aside, and forgive this person. Several years on, our relationship is restored and made new again. Those things of the past are never spoken of, even if I don’t forget what happened.
As Christians, we believe that God has initiated reconciliation with us through his son Jesus Christ. As a result of his death on the cross, we can now live and experience a full, enjoyable and loving relationship with God. As Paul wrote to the Christians at Corinth, “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthian 5:18). God the reconciler also calls us to be reconciled with others. Our life as reconciled people, becoming reconciled with others, can be so powerful.
There are so many people in our world living far from God and thinking that they have blown it, or that God doesn’t care about them. This scripture, though, says that this is not true, and that Christians are called to be involved in the amazing job of helping others get closer to God. Through our lives, our words, and deeds, we can show the unending love to God to those who are searching for it.
There are also many people, including Christians, who live with broken or fractured relationships. This whole area can be incredibly painful and there are often no simple answers. Yet God longs for us to live with whole, healed, restored relationships. Sometimes the first step is bringing the matter to God in prayer and waiting for God to direct us. He may even want us to be the person to make the first move! All of this is possible when we are filled with God’s Holy Spirit.
Some of the current news in our world is quite disheartening. What can Christians do? Of course we can pray, and we do that. We can also ensure we follow Jesus, and live out Christian values. This includes being people of reconciliation, as God calls us to do in this passage of scripture. I wonder how God might want to involve you in that ministry? If you ask him, he will show you.
RECONCILIATION by Revd. Angela Lewis