So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. — 2 Corinthians 5:17–18
Within the New Testament, Paul presents the loving and deeply sacrificial act of God in order to bring reconciliation to us all. Reconciliation is one of those words that I come back to, look up the Greek and dig into the definition to fully comprehend the significance that this word truly holds through the sacrifice of Christ. Throughout Scripture, it is typically used when describing the relationship between God and humanity. The Greek word that Paul uses within the New Testament is katallage meaning “to rid enmity between two people who are at odds with one another.”
Reconciliation is so much more than being forgiven of our sins, but rather goes beyond forgiveness and restores what was once broken. Through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, by paying the price for our sins, we now have a changed relationship with God, and all hostility is removed. This is something that God has provided and nothing we can do, but something we can fully receive.
As we prepare our hearts and minds during this time of Lent, and reflect on our own lives and relationships, let us do so with this Scripture passage as a lens to look through. What might it look like to go beyond the act of forgiving, and move into the deep work of restoration? How can that help change our relationships, change our hearts, and to lead to a more whole community.
I pray that we will be a people who seek reconciliation, that we will take time to ask God where this reconciliation can be done within our relationships and that we may use Jesus as our guide.
Our greatest representation of reconciliation is through the death of Jesus Christ and, as we are walking in this season of Lent, may we be reminded of this powerful restoration and the sacrifice it took. May we reflect upon the greatest example of love the world will ever know.
Almighty God, we do not deserve the sacrifice that you so lovingly gave to bring us reconciliation. You are the restorer of all things, who brings peace and hope in the darkest of circumstances. I pray that we continue to grow in our understanding of reconciliation and, through your example, continue the ministry of reconciliation that we are called to do. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.
Written by: Susan Rheem & Ivy Lopedito