Classic Christmas hymn “Hark! The Herald Angles Sing” has probably hit every home or car in America. Songs recall memory and time. Most of us would have this specific song on a playlist somewhere. Some version. Classic or modern. However you prefer to hear it, has significance.
About 5 seasons deep in my walk with Christ, for the first time, I “heard”
God and Sinners, Reconciled.
That’s another known concept. Another basic truth. But such a disconnected phrase unless the heart is fertile and ready for harvest.
“Now all these things are from God who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation” -2 Corinthians 5:18-&19
What is “all these things”? Since the reference above is towards the end of the chapter, I recall from the beginning Paul refers to our bodies as tents. Because God gives us His Spirit, our “tents” no longer belong to us. Our own efforts. Our own dreams. Our own lives. No longer ours. Then from there, Paul tells us it is better to be absent from the body and HOME with the Lord. Do I often feel that as true? Continuing on saying He died for us so that we may no longer live for ourselves but for Him.
“Now if anyone is IN Christ, he is a new creature, the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” -2 Corinthians 5;17
If you are in the “church culture” that is almost as repetitive as John 3:16. BOTH are significant, beautiful truths. BUT, we can lose foundational sight on what they mean.
Back to reconciliation.
Exchange. It is an exchange. (*digesting that one*)
Simple concept right?
Well, I personally have made this concept so difficult that I have created these expectations OF myself (I would consider unconsciously..) that I have to do these “things”. I would just summarize that list to save you time down to “better choices/behavior” (<its a theme)
I have to reconcile. Sure, I have to play a role in this exchange. But, it cannot primarily be me. And I am confident in saying I AM RECONCILED before I DID ANYTHING to even have that signed, stamped, delivered. The scripture didn’t say “Now we reconciled ourselves to God.” It says “Now, all of these things are FROM GOD who reconciled us to Himself…”
Who are we to think we are powerful enough or wise enough to have that choosing? This is not suggesting that I can just sit and “feel” the Lord to work in my life. But all of my efforts and striving take a clear message, and distort it and send it in a bazillion directions. I end up forming my own idea and characteristics of who He is. Our ancestors did it in the wilderness with silly golden calves. (See Exodus 32) But this same silly concept I create and worship, I have to lay down over and over again.
This Christmas season, I am super thankful for reconciliation through a Baby. That was His first sacrifice. We think of the cross and the meaning. Laying in the manger was the first sacrifice of Jesus’ ministry.
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, GLORY TO THE NEWBORN KING!