June 12, 2021
Each day, I reflect upon a word or phrase from the readings of the day. I encourage you to do the same and perhaps incorporate that word or phrase into your daily prayer.
God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:19)
RECONCILIATION: The words forgiveness and reconciliation are often used interchangeably. Forgiveness frees the sinner of guilt and shame. Once freed from guilt and shame, then what? That is where reconciliation comes in. Reconciliation is an added step, essential to nurturing a relationship.
Perhaps we can think of it in this way. Think of the sinner as a car going in reverse. When forgiveness is given, the brakes are applied and the car slides into neutral. Forgiveness has neutralized the sin. It’s good that the sinner is not going backward anymore, but it’s not going forward either. Reconciliation puts the car in drive and allows it to begin moving forward.
As ambassadors for Christ, we speak and act on his behalf, offering both forgiveness and reconciliation.
We are ambassadors for Christ when we welcome home an estranged family member, no questions asked, or when we lovingly invite those that have left the church to return. We are ambassadors for Christ when we spend time with and offer reassurance to anyone on the fringe that is seeking forgiveness and needs to feel valued.
Forgiveness is a beautiful gift. However, it is the reconciliation allows us to move forward.