Ministry of Reconciliation

This is the assignment Raymond Pert gave us this week for our Sibling Assignment:

My WR 121 class has been studying reconciliation and reading all these papers about their struggles and successes with reconciliation makes me want to write about reconciliation.So, write a post about an experience you have had with reconciliation. It might be a successful reconciliation with a person you were in conflict with. It might be reconciliation with your self you were out of sorts about. It might be about a reconciliation that has never happened and maybe never will. It might be coming to reconcile yourself with an idea that had bugged you for a long time. I think these reconciliation posts would be enhanced by each of us writing, at some point in the post, about what we understand "reconciliation" to mean and where we look in our lives for examples of reconciliation that help us measure our successes and failures at reconciliation. '

RP's post will be here, and IEG's post is here.

When Raymond Pert posed this assignment to us, my first thought went to 2 Corinthians 5, where the Apostle Paul shares about the Ministry of Reconciliation. As a Christian, I often turn to God’s Word for the answers in my life, and to understand what things mean.

2 Corinthians 5: 11-21

11Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15And 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.

16So 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. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20We 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. 21God made him who had no sin to be sin
for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

When I was 18 years old, in the summer of 1981, I made a decision that changed my life…literally. When I decided to truly believe the Jesus Christ was the Lord of my Life, and I wanted to serve Him with all my heart, soul and mind, my whole outlook on life changed. And I was reconciled with the Creator of the Universe by accepting His Son, Jesus Christ.
I’ve mentioned this before in a blog post, but one of the more obvious things that happened to me was the absence of swearing in my life. It was just gone.

Before this choice was made, I felt like I went to church to see what I could receive from God. Now I wanted to see what I could do to serve God, not be served by God.
In the above verse 17, it says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” That is what happened to me. I was a new creation. My whole mindset changed in what seemed like an instant. Old attitudes and ways of thinking were changed. No, I wasn’t perfect, but my heart attitude was sure different.

To me, reconciliation is a restoration of a relationship with another. Through my reconciliation with Jesus Christ, relationships were then easier to restore. I can love others with a strength other than my own. I can more easily ask for forgiveness and say “I’m sorry.” Over the years God has given me the grace to not be as bitter and unforgiving towards others, and try and see things from another perspective other than my own.

I’ve learned that harboring bitterness and unforgiveness toward others really doesn’t harm them in the least. I am the one who suffers. I am the one that misses out on sharing love with others instead of hate.

I hope this doesn’t sound simplistic, because it isn’t. It has been a very hard journey to learn these lessons. Learning to love others when they have hurt you, or those you love is very difficult. It is easier to hold a grudge, and often we like the way it feels, for a while. But then the bitterness just eats at us, and it starts to consume us, which isn’t a very productive way to live.
Reconciliation could be a wonderful gift to give yourself this Christmas season. It is what Christmas is all about…about God’s pure light shining on us all and filling up the dark places in our heart with the light of His love.

Silent Night, Holy Night
Son of God, Love’s Pure Light
Radiant Beams from Thy Holy Face
With the Dawn of Redeeming Grace
Jesus, Lord at Thy Birth, Jesus, Lord at Thy Birth.

No comments: