Reconciliation

Published Feb 11, 2017 at 4:00pm

In his second letter to the Corinthian church, Paul wrote: 

From now on we regard no one from a human point of view. If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. 

Honestly, it’s hard to see where this ministry is taking place these days, unless you look really hard. All around us we hear shrill voices, see angry people, observe the deep divisions in our country. This is where a Christian witness is sorely needed. We have gift to offer the world around us. 

When we think about it, really pay attention to the quiet voice of the Spirit, we know that we are fooling ourselves if we think we’re all going to agree on everything. The bottom line is that none of us knows everything, none of us understands everything, none of us can see the whole picture.

That’s why God has called us into this new community we call the church. We need each other. We need to listen to one another and speak the truth in love to each other.

And, we need to stop being afraid. Fear makes us hostile. Remember, each one of us is loved with an everlasting love by God. Each one of us is forgiven. Each one of us can hear the words, “You are my beloved child, with you I am pleased,” if we only stop to listen. Folks, we’re not loved because we did something right or earned God’s love, but just because God loves us and refuses to give up on us! 

So let’s not give up on each other. Let’s remember what Paul was trying to tell that fractious bunch at Corinth who seemed to be always so crosswise with each other. Remember that God has made you one body. Don’t look at each other from a human point of view, that is, with a desire for revenge or with resentment. You need each other. None of you has the whole picture.

Think about the people you deal with every day. Do you see eye to eye with them on everything? You voted differently than half the people around you. You think about issues differently. But these are your neighbors! They aren’t evil! They’re just people who see the world from a different perspective.

I didn’t agree with my father on political issues. But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t sit at the table with him, talk to him, love him. He’s been gone almost five years and I miss him every day. We were different. That’s all.

One thing – one crucial thing – that Christians can give to the rest of the world is this way of seeing each other. We don’t have to be enemies. We don’t have to assume the worst about each other. And – we need each other. 

So – just a little advice to people who disagree with each other. Don’t treat them like your enemy. Don’t yell. Don’t assume they’re evil. Listen. Say what you believe. Do it with respect. We’re all in this together. 

God is making us one. Not uniform, but unified. None of us is God; none of us has the whole picture. We all need each other.