Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Being Reconciled

A lifetime of ministry leaves a preacher with a lot of memories.  Since time has a way of erasing bad memories, most of things remembered are good.  However, there are a few things from the other category which linger.  I remember a church I served where I really got crossed up with many of the folks.  The more I argued with myself about "the principle of the thing" the more I became separated from the ones I was sent to serve.  My even-though-I-was-right stubbornness meant a short appointment.  It was about fifteen years later when the church invited me to come back as a guest preacher that we did the work of reconciliation which I should have done so much sooner.  More than I remember those difficult days do I remember leaving on that Sunday years later knowing that reconciliation had truly taken place.
My biggest regret is that I let it take so long.  I should have been spending more time kneeling at the cross.  The cross is the place where people are made one.  In Ephesians we find words such as, "But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ..." (Ephesians 2:13)  And in still another verse, the Word says, "...that He...might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross."  (Ephesians 2:16)  When believers kneel with the cross before them, the world and its people (including those with whom we have difficulty getting along) are seen differently.  Spending time at the cross enables us to see that the One dying there has died for all of us...each one of us, thereby, joining us together in a permanent bond.

Staying awhile at the cross brings into view the perspective of Jesus which is that there is nothing more important than people living in a right relationship with God and one another.  Through Christ, God did whatever had to be done to communicate the importance of that single truth.  Staying there on our knees might bring us to the place of seeing God's whatever.  And seeing such will surely bring us to the place of understanding that who is right or wrong is not nearly as important as living reconciled to those whom God calls our brothers and sisters.

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