Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Reconciling

Today's reflection on the Daily Texts:

His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. Daniel 7:14 (NIV)

God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in Christ, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Colossians 1:19–20 (NIV)

Two-year reading texts: Psalm 112; 1 Samuel 18:1-19:7; John 4:1-26

The word and action of "reconciling" is what stands out for me in today's scriptures. In 1 Samuel, we have one example of a fragile, temporary human reconciliation between Saul and David. But God has something much bigger and longer lasting in mind. The other scriptures point to this: an eternal, all-encompassing reconciliation that overcomes all boundaries and barriers, that heals and makes clean, that brings forgiveness and life, that restores relationships that have been broken.

Sometimes it's said that "sin" is a word that has lost a lot of value in today's world. And maybe it's true that we don't connect well with a need to have every small transgression blotted from our record. That kind of approach can lead to a Law-oriented religion that kills instead of giving life. But "sin" is still a category that carries heavy truth, when we see it as a word for the whole problem of human alienation and brokenness, selfishness, and all kinds of evil. For this kind of sin, small corrections won't do. We need God's kind of reconciliation.

God of grace and mercy, forgiveness and healing, thank you for the reconciling work done for all creation, through the cross of Christ's death and resurrection. Send the light and hope of this message out into all the world, that those who are touched by this good news will be reconciled to you and to others, and will become a part of your eternal, all-encompassing reconciliation for all. May we see you at work in small and large ways, strive for your ways rather than our ways that lead deeper into sin, and be living examples of what you can do throughout the world.

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