Carl, an elderly man, had been attending our church for a year. His life had been a journey of brokenness and hardship. Within the gathered community of believers, he found people who cared about him as a person. As his heart softened, he chose to join the church. I remember vividly his exuberance as he responded to the confessional questions in the baptismal service. Instead of the staid responses of “I do” and “I will” that typically follow the questions, Carl made statements like “Absolutely!” and “I’d have it no other way!” Carl had experienced reconciliation and he glowed with joy.
Like Carl, we live in a world that is out of tune with God’s ultimate intentions. The desire is for right relationships – with God, with other people and with all creation. In spite of this desire, we experience much disjointedness and injustice. We encounter many broken relationships in our lives, yet we have come to accept those patterns as normal. We live in fragmented society – a world out of joint – and that norm must be challenged.
The devotionals this week explore biblical texts that challenge the norm. The stepping out actions of reconciliation are:
- leaving an era of wandering and coming into in the land of promise
- escaping insecurities and coming into the hiding place of God
- choosing to be an ambassador with the message of reconciliation
- taking the long walk home to God our loving parent
The passages show the importance of letting go that which we have held onto dearly. Even when we know things are out of tune, we can assume that clinging is safer than change. A letting go – and a reaching to the God who makes things right – is needed. It is through these acts of faith that we are reconciled and made a new creation.
May our spirits rise with joyfulness, as we lift up shouts of gratitude to Christ, our reconciler.