My pastor recently taught on the Ministry of Reconciliation. I had two thoughts as I heard his message. The first centered around the idea of being a new creation. Out with the old, in with the new. Do you, as a Christian, sometimes feel stale? Does your faith feel old, lacking excitement? Some days we just feel off, missing the mark. The verses here show us that every day we are made new. God chooses us every day and every day we get to choose Him back. We get a clean slate and to me that is extremely powerful. I need this kind of reminder frequently. I need to be reminded that I am not living for me. My life is and should be a reflection of Jesus. We have been reconciled to God through his grace and love.
14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.2 Corinthians 5:14-15
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here! 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.2 Corinthians 5:16-19
I did not realize how relevant the word reconcile was until this very moment. I like the definition, “the action of making one view or belief compatible with another.” No other time in my history have things felt more divisive. Reconciliation, truthfully, feels impossible. And the more I think about the more I understand that reconciliation is impossible. We are attempting to reconcile the world with the world. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Reconciliation comes from above. We are committed, by God, to the message of reconciliation. This means that it can’t and won’t happen apart from Him. We all have our own views and beliefs and the thought of being compatible with others seems unattainable and the problem is that we are not sharing one central view and belief. That God is God and He is in charge. He has given commandments with which to live and the two most important are to love Him and love others. Somehow, we continue to misinterpret the two words, love others. There is not “but” or “if.” It is not conditional. Reconciliation is found in unconditional love for the other. It does not matter who the “other” is in your scenario. Love concurs all. Jesus concurs all.
I don’t think Jesus cares what sign is in your yard or the flag you choose to fly. I think Jesus cares if you love those that are the most difficult to love, in your eyes. Keep in mind that you are someone else’s, “difficult to love.” You are not perfect. Your thoughts are not better. Jesus is holy and we are made new each day. Make the most of it.