Sunday, December 23, 2012

RECONCILIATION: ' NOW COMPLETED'




2 Corinthians 5:16-20 (MSG) Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.”

·      “All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other.”

What a wonderful message from God through Christ, to the world through us, when we are united with the Messiah!  The challenge of reconciliation, making things right, is not a challenge that sends us out alone because it is clear, we cannot “fix things”, or “make it right” by ourselves.  It doesn’t matter to God what talents, riches, skills, oratory gifts, or University degrees we hold.  It doesn’t matter to God how we look, how beautiful we are, the color of our skin, the shape or color of our eyes, the length or style of our hair, the price or value of our clothes or the jewelry we wear.

What, you say?   But, we are good at fixing things, it’s what we do, it’s what makes us feel useful, needed, and successful!    Many of us pride ourselves when one of our gifts is that of “peacemaker”.  It is in our nature to want to fix things, to right the wrongs, to solve the problems, to find the answer, to make it better.  But it seems that is not our job!

·      God has given us the task of telling everyone what He is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives.

At this Christmas season, we witness all the unrest, killings, and hatred in our world; the war, rebellion, and deaths that pervade the news.   We sadly read the headlines, and watch the world of cell phones, with their daily videos streaming confusion, unrest, and struggles all over this world. 

At this Christmas Season and every other day, God’s relationship between us and Him has been settled, and our challenge is to share His message of peace, persuade people to drop our differences and accept God’s Son as Savior from our sins, to be “created new”. 

What would our world look like, what would the headlines report; what would the world of cell phones be streaming in real time if we all “dropped our differences”,  and accepted God’s message of peace?  God’s work, our challenge!  It seems almost impossible, all too simple.


God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins.

My grandfather’s career was that of a section foreman for the Railroad in New Mexico.  That was what he did until he retired.  But my grandfather was also a carpenter.  He made things with his hands.  He took pieces of wood and created from a block of wood items of beauty.  One of the things my grandfather made for each of his children was a baby crib.  These cribs were passed down from mother to daughter for their children.   I don’t know where he got the design, and I have never seen any quite like the ones he made.  He gave them to his children so his grandchildren could be placed in a crib that was built with love; that would be a safe, soft place for his grandbabies to sleep and grow.  He knew the importance of things he made being “square”. The pieces had to fit perfectly for the item to be whole, to serve the purpose for which it was intended.  It had to be made square. 

Paul reminds us that “God put the world square with Himself through the Messiah.”    God brought reconciliation to the world through His Son.  Jesus came that we might have life everlasting. 

John 3:16 (MSG) “This is how much God loved the world: He gave His Son, His one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in Him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending His Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.”
Paul reminds us that God brings reconciliation to the world through His Son.  We are all God’s children, and as we pause to celebrate the birth of His Son, Jesus Christ, may our lives be a reflection of His relationship to us and our relationship to each other.  May we all speak the message of love, peace and reconciliation to a world that is so torn by division and ongoing strife.
            
   THE PATH TAKEN

God’s Son, so quiet in a manger lay,
His bed was softened by new mown hay;
His bright eyes searched His world so new;
The sights and sounds came rushing through!

The faces of those who gazed at him,
So strange, expressions of awe on them;
He was so small; how could he ever know,
The world in which he would quickly grow!

And, yes there were others born that day,
Their lives would travel in a different way;
Some soldiers, some just traveling that street,
When Jesus faced death, their paths would meet!

For all He would suffer, for all He would die,
Those then, us now, and all yet to pass by;
God set His path, reconciliation was now done,
The Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit became one.


Iva Lou Samples, 
Former SA Officer
USA South

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your emphasis on the goal of reconciliation: peace. Instead of judging one another by external appearances, the goal is having peace in our relationships--not the kind of peace that we accomplish via our 'fix-it mode', but the 'peace that passes understanding', which is from God. The Prince of Peace set the model, & our challenge is to emulate Him.

Many blessings. :)

Elizabeth,
Former SA Officer
Canada & Bermuda