I Was Just Thinking About – RECONCILIATION.
One of the great messages of Advent is that those who were once alienated from God have now been reconciled in Jesus Christ. In Colossians 1:19-22 (ESV), “For in Jesus Christ all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, He has now reconciled in His body of flesh by His death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before Him.”
When we think of the Biblical narrative of the birth of Jesus Christ, it reminds us why He came and what He accomplished in your and my behalf. Key verses about reconciliation are Second Corinthians 5:17-20, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”
Protestant denominations are doing and producing studies on the subject of Racial Reconciliation. It seems that many times the obvious is missed. Reconciliation is more than what one thinks or says about it – it is doing what is right and acceptable in God’s sight who has given to His followers the ambassadorship of living out and proclaiming – “Be reconciled to God.”
This past Wednesday, I had to make one of the necessary follow-up visits to the Fusion Center at Kirklin Clinic in Birmingham, AL. In the Waiting Room there were two women waiting their turn. After I exited the Fusion Room, they wanted to inquire about my situation. These two ladies were of different racial backgrounds but were seated side by side expressing concern for their own situation and treatment. Both are receiving Chemo. Both are scheduled for similar surgery. Both will be undergoing radiation. But at that moment, they became interested in me and thrilled when they heard I had been told I was in Remission in June 2018. They were excited in my behalf and there were “God Bless You” shared by them both. I’m certain neither of them are aware of the recent Southern Baptist 72-page report on Racial Reconciliation, or the Presbyterian Church in America’s dissertations about the same subject. They were there – one white and one black - concerned about each other – and then – interested in me and overjoyed that God was answering prayer in my behalf.
It underscored once again for me that too often the Church is known more for its talk than it is for its walk. It's not what we think, write or say that matters. It’s what we believe and do as a genuine Christian act of godliness and compassion. I don’t know the names of these ladies, but I’m thankful that my wife and I were able to meet, observe and talk with them. The deeds done by genuine Christians in the name of Christ will last for eternity whereas the words spoken and written will fade into the vastness and opaqueness of talk versus walk.
Prayerfully – consider these things with me.