16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer.17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
2 Corinthians 5:16-20 (ESV)
Our God is a God of reconciliation. The entire story of Scripture, from beginning to end, is the story of God reconciling His human creations back to Himself. The Fall separated us from Him, and He spends the rest of the story from Old Testament to New enacting an entire rescue plan so that we could be reconciled back to our Creator. Jesus’ death on the cross was the lynch pin of His entire plan. Every chasm created by the Fall, every chain shackling us from freedom and every human bond that has been broken by sin were repaired when Jesus’ love drove Him to the cross.
Paul, in the 2 Corinthians passage above, comes to the logical conclusion then that if God is in the business of reconciling us to Him, then we should be in the business of reconciling ourselves to others. He has “entrusted to us the message of reconciliation”. Our acts of reconciliation towards others is the appeal God is making, through us, that all need to be reconciled to God. Our reconciliation to God and our reconciliation to others are not mutually exclusive. We can’t desire reconciliation with God without the desire to make all our human relationships “right” again.
Racial reconciliation is a hot topic. Events in the past few years have made the topic almost a necessary discussion in our current culture. As Christians, what is our role? I believe we not only have a place in the conversation, we should be leading the conversation. For so long, many of us in the Church have sat with our heads in the sands while the world crumbles around us. But, I truly believe that God calls us, actually commands us, to so much more. While the topic is hard and uncomfortable and nuanced and overwhelming, we have to lean into it.
This week and next on Woven, we have the pure joy of talking with Shannon Doyle Bell and Meredith Copley about engaging the racial diversity in our community and the importance of Christians taking the lead in this work of racial reconciliation. I pray you will listen to both parts and take a look at the resources listed in the show notes. We only touch the surface in these episodes, but there is a wealth of knowledge out there written by some pretty smart people. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts!