Theme of the Week: Reconciliation
Bible Verse: For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Romans 5:10
Scripture Reading: Romans 5:1-21
Reconciliation. It might be one of those fuzzy words. You know the kind. Words that we think we know what they mean. Words with obvious significance and weight, but words, that when we are asked to define or describe them, we all vary a little bit and say, “It’s kind of like . . .” There are a number of words that seem to have fuzzy edges.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines reconciliation like this: an end to a disagreement or conflict with somebody and the start of a good relationship again. Easton’s Bible Dictionary defines it as: “A change from enmity to friendship. It is mutual, i.e., it is a change wrought in both parties who have been at enmity. The Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms defines it as: “A change in relationship or attitude from enmity to peace; the cessation of hostility in attitude or action. Reconciliation is a central doctrine of Christianity.”
Each of these definitions carries two central ideas:
- Two (or more) parties are actively at odds with each other.
- Reconciliation is more than the absence of conflict, rather it is an active and mutual good disposition toward the other. In other words, reconciliation means that something was wrong, something separated two parties, and put a barrier between them. And that barrier hasn’t simply been circumvented, a door hasn’t been cut in it so that the reason for hostility remains. Rather, the blockage has been removed entirely so that animosity/enmity is replaced with goodwill.
We may think that reconciliation, especially between people, has taken place when we move from active animosity to neutrality. That is not the case. True reconciliation only happens when parties are moved beyond neutrality and apathy into looking out for the good of the other party.
This week we’re going to explore reconciliation: who needs it and how it happens. Join me as we ask God to show us where we need reconciliation and thank Him for what He has provided.
Prayer: God, thank you that you understand reconciliation even if my grasp of it and its effects are limited. Thank you that you wanted to move from enmity to peace with me. Help me today to accept that peace and to share it with others.
Reflection: What relationship do you have that needs reconciliation? Big or small? What step can you take today to move toward reconciliation?
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