March 19, 2021
Shalom: The Way to Hope (Week 4)
What is reconciliation?
"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."  2 Corinthians 5:17-18

Within the New Testament, Paul presents the loving and deeply sacrificial act of God in order to bring reconciliation to us all. Reconciliation is one of those words that I come back to, look up the Greek and dig into the definition to fully comprehend the significance that this word truly holds through the sacrifice of Christ. Throughout Scripture, it is typically used when describing the relationship between God and humanity. The Greek word that Paul uses within the New Testament is katallage meaning “to rid enmity between two people who are at odds with one another.”

Reconciliation is so much more than being forgiven of our sins, but rather goes beyond forgiveness and restores what was once broken. Through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, by paying the price for our sins, we now have a changed relationship with God, and all hostility is removed. This is something that God has provided and nothing we can do, but something we can fully receive.

Our greatest representation of reconciliation is through the death of Jesus Christ and, as we are walking in this season of Lent, may we be reminded of this powerful restoration and the sacrifice it took. May we reflect upon the greatest example of love the world will ever know.

Pray
Almighty God, we do not deserve the sacrifice that you so lovingly gave to bring us reconciliation. You are the restorer of all things, who brings peace and hope in the darkest of circumstances. I pray that we continue to grow in our understanding of reconciliation and, through your example, continue the ministry of reconciliation that we are called to do. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.
About the authors of "The Way to Shalom: A Lenten Journey to Peace and Wholeness" from Presbyterians Today (PCUSA): The Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, director of the Presbyterian Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C., is joined by colleagues Catherine Gordon, associate for international issues; Christian Brooks, representative for domestic poverty issues; Sue Rheem, representative for the United Nations; and Ivy Lopedito, a mission specialist for the United Nations, in writing this year’s devotional. The Office of Public Witness is the denomination’s advocate and social witness in Washington, D.C. Learn more.
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