"So if anyone
is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see,
everything has become new! All this is
from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the
ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to
himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message
of reconciliation to us. So we are
ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat
you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we
might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).
the Gospel of John, when John the Baptist sees Jesus, he says, "Here is
the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" This is John's narrative way of expressing
the truth proclaimed by Paul: "in
Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses
against them." In his infinitely sacrificial
love, God takes away our sin through the death of his Son on the cross. To where does he take our sin? Into Christ, and so into his own heart. Reconciliation is costly.
else Paul is saying when he speaks about a "new creation" in Christ,
he means that God is eternally inviting us into a reconciled relationship with
God and into reconciliation with one another.
Through Christ, God is constantly "taking away the sin of the
world," that is, extending his grace to us.
be drawn into this "new creation" in Christ, "through whom we have obtained access to
this grace in which we stand" (Romans 5:2), means that we are called into
a "cruciform" life ourselves.
Since the heart of the meaning of the cross is reconciliation between
God and us, then the heart of the Christian life is the pursuit of
reconciliation and peace between us and our fellow human beings. This is the practical expression of the love
of God between us. 1 John 4:11 puts it
simply: "Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one
season of Lent provides a wonderful opportunity to experience -- and then to
practice -- the costly love of God that leads to reconciliation. Share in worship and in the other spiritual
practices that can help you to trust in God's grace for you. Then, ask God to help you see where you need
to seek genuine reconciliation with someone.
Reconciliation is costly, but it leads us into the heart of God. This is the essence of Jesus' invitation:
"If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up
their cross and follow me. For those who
want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake
and for the sake of the gospel, will save it" (Mark 8:34-35).
Invite a friend to worship this Sunday!
I will be away praying for you on my Lenten Prayer Retreat, and Rev. W.
C. Hall will be preaching on John 10:1-10, "I am the Good Shepherd."
Trinity United Methodist Church
3430 Harrison | Beaumont, TX 77706
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