Thursday, December 4, 2008

"God and sinners reconciled"

i have an issue with my kids. sometimes they do something that goes against our family's rules just because they really want to do it. for example, almost every day i find tessa and tate jumping on the couch. they know they are not supposed to do this but it is so much fun they go ahead and do it anyway. when i speak to them about it in my gentle, loving, mommy voice i hear, "sorry" in a decidedly unsorry tone of voice. this only makes me madder. don't say you're sorry if you aren't sorry. i know that you are planning on doing it again as soon as my back is turned!

when adam and eve ate from the tree in the garden of eden, "sorry" just wasn't good enough. a rift was created between God and humanity that required something, or someone, superhuman to repair. enter Jesus.

"God was bringing the world back to himself through Christ. he did not hold people's sins against them. God has trusted us with the message that people may be brought back to him. so we are Christ's official messengers. it is as if God were making his appeal through us. here is what Christ wants us to beg you to do. come back to God!

"Christ didn't have any sin. but God made him become sin for us. so we can be made right with God because of what Christ has done for us."
(2 corinthians 5.19-21 nirv)

in this passage paul is actually giving us a mission to pass on the ministry of reconciliation. but he also explains exactly what God did through Christ. God reconciles us to himself. we are the ones with the problem. this is not a two-way street in terms of reconciliation. we are the ones who need to be reconciled to him. because God sent Christ to earth, we are "made right with God."

once we are made right with God, we are "new creation." since God's love has come to us, we are now opened to God's love and able to take an active part in the reconciliation of the world to God. for ourselves, we accept God's gift to us. in gratefulness, we work to offer God's reconciliation to others. Christ's death and resurrection does not end the process of reconciliation between God and the world. paul says our task is to participate in the ongoing process of reconciliation.

this is the part of the carol that can bring me to tears. how can God and sinners be reconciled? God hates sin doesn't he? "but God made [Christ] become sin for us so that we can be made right with God." incredible, isn't it?

this advent season, i hope you can take some time to reflect on "reconciliation." look it up in a dictionary. read through 2 corinthians 5 and romans 5. think about what it means that Christ fulfilled the requirement so that we can have a right and restored relationship with God.

for the kids: ask them to think about an argument or fight they had with someone. what did it take to make up and be friends again? talk about the fall of adam and eve and the rift that was made between all human beings and God. what does it take to heal that rift so that we can be friends with God? the life and death of Jesus Christ. for a project, cut out two handprints from felt or stiff paper. from blue and green felt or paper, create a globe to place in the hands. remember that God sent Christ so that the world could be reconciled to him.


The Freak of Nature said...

Mel, I love this blog. Are you going to continue this after the season or make a new one for Easter?

KAA said... to take an active part in the reconciliation of the world to God...

Woah. I never thought of evangelism in these terms. That is convicting.