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Committed to reconciliation

Light for the Way seriesWe invite you to take a peek inside our Light for the Way devotional series. Each week we provide staff with an examination of a biblical reading to deepen our focus on scripture. Thank you for engaging with this series as we seek wisdom through prayer and reflection as a Christian Ministry.

By Pastor Keith Lomen, Campus Pastor of Orchard Path and Valley Ridge

My wife and I are in the process of moving — we hope! We still haven’t found the right house for us, but we’re praying and looking hard! Part of the moving process is purging old junk, such as old CDs in a plastic bin that I am trying to get through, bit by bit.
 
This week I resurrected one of the CDs that I hadn’t listened to in forever but am now absolutely going to keep and listen to often. One song from the Best of Promise Keepers album from the early 90s really struck a chord with me when I heard it again. It’s called "Let Us Be the Generation of Reconciliation and Peace."
 
This year, 2020, has been the year of pandemics, protests and politics, but it could easily be called the year of division. The protests that broke out in Minneapolis last summer after the death of George Floyd spoke volumes about the racial divide that exists in our country still. 
 
But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Don’t even get me started on the political divisions that exist today in America.  There’s the far right and the far left and seemingly not much in between. The result? Legislative gridlock — so not much gets done. The ‘common good’ that should be the center of our government’s work rarely gets served or even considered. Clearly something has to change. Can’t we all just get along?
 
In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul talks about ‘getting along’ when he writes of the ‘ministry of reconciliation’ that Christ accomplished for us by His life, death and resurrection. Lost and dead in sin we were, separated from God and each other. But then, in our Scripture verse for today, Paul says…
 
"All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, not counting people’s sins against them" (verse 18). His grace and forgiveness brought us back to God. The broken relationship between God and His people was healed, removing our condemnation and replacing it with peace. It’s such a beautiful thing!
 
But Paul doesn’t stop there: "And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us" (verse 20).
 
The entirety of God’s mission in the world was always to ‘reconcile’ His people back to Himself. Now He has turned over that ministry of reconciliation to us. We are His ambassadors. God is now making His appeal through us. We are ‘reconciled reconcilers’!
 
In other words, God is saying to us right here and right now: You, my people, be the generation of reconciliation and peace!

But how, you ask. What can we do? I’m SO glad you asked.  Here are a couple tools for us all.

One verse from the Good Book comes to mind: Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” To get us started, here’s a ‘short list’ of those with whom we should be absolutely and intentionally reconciled:

  • God
  • Ourselves
  • Our spouses and families
  • Friends and neighbors
  • Co-workers and PHS residents
  • EVERYONE who is different from us in any way!

​Friends, in this ‘year of our discontent,' God is calling us now more than ever, to be the generation of reconciliation and peace. The stakes are high.  It’s never been more important. God help us.

More selected devotionals in the Light for the Way series:
Setting aside our differences
Needing help is okay and even Christlike
'I am because we are'
Introducing Light for the Way, a new devotional series

In addition to Light for the Way, you can find reflections, devotions, music and other resources on the Pastoral Care website

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