True Reconciliation

by Aug 9, 2006

diversity-sm.jpgMatt Dirks
Sermon passage: Genesis 45-46

You might not know it here in the middle of the Pacific, but “reconciliation” has been a buzzword for Christians on the mainland over the past few years. At Promise Keeper rallies, hundreds of thousands of men have been challenged to make racial reconciliation a top priority in the church. At Bethel University, you can even get a degree in Reconciliation Studies. They say this program offers students “an opportunity to become more proficient in recognizing injustice, addressing conflict, and engaging diversity.”

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but maybe we’re getting the cart before the horse, or egg before the chicken, or whatever Amish folk saying you want to use. The Bible never gave us the task of bringing peace to the earth unless it was inextricably tied to the task of bringing Christ to people’s hearts. As we’ve seen in Genesis, Joseph never made any attempt to reconcile personally with his brothers until he was sure they had begun to reconcile with God.

In fact, having a ministry of reconciliation primarily means helping people understand that “in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them” (2 Cor 5:19). Our message of reconciliation to the world is this: “We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God!”

When people are reconciled to God, the natural consequence is that they’ll be reconciled to each other. So instead of praying for peace on earth or peace in your workplace, pray that these people will come to know Jesus!