Prepare to listen. Read God’s Word with the attitude of a beginner and learner. Hear God’s word to you: I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. (Psalm 32:8)
Read 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
16From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. 17So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; 19that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 20So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
A new creation with a new ministry, that’s what we, who claim to follow Jesus are and do. We were never saved merely to avoid hell and be safely popped into heaven one day. Salvation in Jesus has a present consequence, an urgent task—being ambassadors of the reconciliation Jesus made possible on the cross. Sadly, reconciliation is too often ignored as churches split over views on morality or theology or role of women and men. We think we’re taking the high ground by sticking to our principles and separating from our family in Christ. But we’re not. The death of Christ made possible a new way; the restoration of the relationship between humanity and God, and the restoration of relationships between humans. The ministry of reconciliation, therefore, isn’t merely seeking to reconcile humans to God, but also people to people. There should be no dividing wall of hostility, not a literal wall and not a figurative one (see Ephesians 2:14). As followers of Jesus, our task is to practice the ministry of reconciliation, demonstrating to the world the power of the cross.
Where is reconciliation between people most needed in your immediate circle and how can you be Christ’s ambassador of reconciliation there?
Respond to Jesus in prayer
Where I have hindered reconciliation, Lord forgive. Where I am able to intervene and be your ambassador of reconciliation, show me the way and give me the courage and power through your Spirit. Amen.
Go and live obediently in the world, an ambassador of reconciliation.
Reading the Bible has always been essential to followers of Jesus. I've been reading, studying, teaching and writing reflections on biblical texts for as long as I can remember. I invite you to read the Bible with me during the Lent and into Easter Sunday.