March 21, 2021
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 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. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 ESV
Forgiveness can be unilateral. I can (and must) forgive those who have wronged me or my loved ones. Reconciliation, however, is bilateral; both sides must forgive in order to restore the relationship. This raises an interesting question, though. Does God need us to forgive him? No, he is righteous and has acted justly and lovingly toward us. But we in our fallen state of mind may need to forgive God for the perceived unfair hurt he has inflicted on us or others. Then, as we deepen our understanding of his grace, we stop blaming God and become more forgiving toward those who have offended us. And how do we deepen our understanding of his grace? The Holy Spirit works in us the gripping reality that Jesus who knew no sin become sin for us (who sin against God and others every day of our lives), so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). With gratitude, we then extend his ministry of reconciliation to whomever the Holy Spirit brings across our path.
Thank you, Father, for giving us your Son as our means of reconciling with you and as our source for carrying out this divine ministry of reconciliation. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling