From Pastor David – Reconciliation

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who drones on and on? Have you ever found yourself thinking, “I wish you would get to your point.” Or maybe you even asked the person, “What is your point?” For whatever reasons, we humans have a knack of taking simple ideas and making them complex. Sometimes we will say, “You won’t understand, it’s too complex.” Often, it’s not complex, but we make it complex to avoid reality or perhaps our responsibility.

I have wondered at times if we have not done the same with our Christian faith. I wonder if we have not taken an incredibly simple invitation from Jesus, “Come follow me,” and made it increasingly complex. I wonder if that has led to our not being able to effectively communicate the point of Christian faith?

Some preachers will tell you the point of Christian faith is to get to heaven. Other preachers will tell you the point is to have life and to have it abundantly. Still other preachers will tell you the point of Christian faith is to liberate us from socio-political oppression. Each of these examples communicates a particular truth about Christian Faith, but perhaps not the whole truth.

In his letter to the Church at Colossae, the Apostle Paul wrote the following: “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things. Whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood shed on the cross. Once you were alienated
from God and were enemies…but now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight–without blemish and free from accusation–if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel.” (Colossians 1:19-23)

Paul seems to say that the point of Christian faith is not only to get to heaven, or to have an abundant life, or to be politically liberated. Rather the point is reconciliation. In a sister letter to the church at Ephesus Paul wrote, “But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far away have been brought near through the
blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier the dividing wall of hostility” (Ephesians 2:14). In 2 Corinthians 5:18 we hear these words, “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”

If I could only choose one word to describe our Christian faith, reconciliation would be that word, reconciliation to God, to one another, to self and to creation. God has called us to be a reconciled people. We cannot live this calling alone. It can only be lived in community. And God has provided the church for
this very purpose.

The point of church is not activities, events, and programs. The point is living in reconciled relationship with God, each other, self, and creation that others would also come and follow Jesus.

As we move into a New Year, I pray we will discover new ways to live God’s vision of reconciliation.

Pastor David

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