ReconciliationM. William Ury explores reconciliation in this edition of "A Word for Today."
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.2 Corintheans 5:18-19
Our separation from God put everything “out of gear.” The Army’s theology does not end with the forgiveness of sins. We believe that the new birth, a radical change within the heart wrought by the Holy Spirit, is offered to every believer. It powerfully readjusts the faithful forward into God’s promised fullness. We are “reconciled to God” through the realigning work of Jesus on His atoning Cross and life-enabling resurrection (Romans 5:10-11).
That word “reconcile” has reverberated in my heart in these tumultuous days of castigation and recalcitrance. Mere judicial rectification is insufficient. We are made for reestablished communion. The root of reconciliation is “change.” He ex-changes our “kingdom of darkness” by changing our state from prisoners to children of His Kingdom” (Colossians 1:13-23).
Notice that He put the whole world back in gear (2 Corinthians 5:19). Despite our divisions, hatreds and estrangements, Jesus wove assuring bonds of recreated relationship everywhere rupture is found. If He can find faith, there is hope of reconciliation. In Him, alone true, realistic, relational restoration is possible. This is our life’s message and ministry (5:19-20).
Unlike forgiveness, reconciliation always takes two parties who are willing to lay weapons of self-protection down. Think of Joseph and his murderous brothers embracing in the first holistic reconciliation following Eden’s estrangement (Genesis 45).
I am learning that reconciliation:
- Is a gift offered to all who, by faith, receive the “exchange” of our dissolution for His life
- Always begins in the heart of one willing to be sent by God
- Places incredible value on the offender
- Penetrates the life of any who desires an “exchange”
- “Mutually” transforms both parties
Reconciling Lord, you changed me by Your glorious exchange. Now send me as an agent of Your restoration to whom You will. Amen.