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All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 (NIV)

Reconciled: to restore friendly relations between parties who once were in close relationship.

Once upon a time the world was a beautiful place of trees and flowers and cool, spring waters. There were no weeds. There were no cloudy skies or inclement weather. Everything was perfect. Even love was perfect back then. Man and woman were naked emotionally, physically and spiritually. All was peace and harmony.

Sounds like a fairy tale doesn’t it? But it’s true. We don’t know how long Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, but we know that the time spent there was truly paradise. Complete freedom. Complete intimacy. Complete peace with each other and the God who created them.

Then a horrible thing happened. Greed and selfishness and doubt entered into the picture and with it a broken relationship with God. For those of us who have gone through broken relationships with former spouses, children, friends or employers we know the feeling. The feeling of loss, of regret, of failure. The ‘If only’s’ ring loudly in our ears.

Have you ever been caught in the middle of an argument between two people you loved dearly? A situation in which you saw both sides of the argument but loved both parties so much you got involved to try to reconcile the two parties? Jesus did. He saw God’s holiness and he saw your failure. He knew there was only one thing he could do to reconcile you to God and that was to die for you. So he did.

As followers of Jesus Christ each of us has been reconciled to God through grace. There was nothing we, in and of ourselves could do to make that reconciliation happen. Now, through Jesus, we can once more be friends with God.

But wait! There’s more! We have the privilege of bringing others to reconciliation with God and, perhaps, even ourselves. Maybe that’s why Jesus said ‘Pray for your enemies’ (Matthew 5:44). I wonder if he had your situation in mind when he said, “If your brother has something against you, go to him/her’ (Matthew 5:23).

The next time you are weighed down with the guilt of your own sin and failure, remember that Jesus died to forgive and remove your sin.

The next time you think “I could never be reconciled to that person after what they did to me.” Remember what Jesus did for you.

Reconciliation isn’t easy, but it’s something we are all called to do in the power and grace of Jesus Christ. Who can you reach out to today? Who do you know that needs the ministry of reconciliation in their lives?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank you for giving of yourself so freely so that I can be reconciled to God and have my friendship restored. I pray for those in need of reconciliation, that they may find it. I pray for me, that I may, through the power of your Spirit be a minister of reconciliation to those in need. Amen.

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