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.

2 Corinthians 5: 18, 19

 

It is hard to not become engaged with stories of reconciliation. We hear about an incredible journey that a lost cat or dog has taken to find its way home, and we are filled with emotion. Accounts of children given for adoption and finding their birth mother as adults are powerful, and the times when estranged or even divorced married couples are brought back together carry a very special touch of God’s grace within their narratives. Perhaps the most striking tale of reconciliation comes about in Luke’s telling of the restoration of the relationship between son and father in what we know as the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Yet, the Bible contains an even greater and more powerful story of separation, loss, and God’s work of reconciliation. Its entire narrative from beginning to the very end is one long accounting of God’s unending and successful pursuit of people.

 

In knowing Christ, people are brought back into a relationship with God that is our true natural state of existence. Living in intimacy with God is the way that humanity was designed and created to be. However, much like that impulsive puppy who runs off from the care and the safety of its owner while chasing a squirrel we have broken away from God through rebellion, and we have taken ourselves out of the peace and provision that in this world come only from the heart of God. Yet, Christ does not leave us there in the lost state of spiritual and physical separation from God. He reaches into our orphaned hearts and gives us the gift of a place within the eternal family of God’s children. Just as these stories about the reconciliation of human relationships come from every aspect of humanity. So too does Christ’s work of reconciliation apply to any and to all people in the world.

 

This story of reconciliation doesn’t stop with Christ’s bringing of people back into relationship with God. It continues on from there in a manner that is intended by God to be the true never-ending story of our age. Christ desires for each of us who know Him to go out into our world and think, speak, and live in a manner that continues this narrative of reconciliation. In Christ our lives are to be dedicated to the same purpose that God has set forth for Himself from that time long ago in distant history. We are to be people who bring the grace of heaven into a harsh and a violent world. Christ takes us along a path that leads out of comfort and personal safety and into the wilderness places where lost souls go to escape God’s view. Yet, this journey of faith with its discomforts and dangers is one that leads all who take it ever deeper into the heart of God.