Ambassadors of God's Reconciliation in a Broken World

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Bible Book: 
2 Corinthians / 2 Korintiers
Chapter: 
5
Verse: 
16
Verse (to): 
21

Text: 2 Corinthians 5:16-21


The world we are living in is starving for reconciliation.

The need of people to be reconciled with God and with one another is as necessary today as it was in the time Paul wrote the letter of 2 Corinthians. The message that true reconciliation comes from "God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself" (verse 18) is still relevant after 2,000 years. You don't have to be a rocket scientist or a political scientist to see the need for reconciliation on many different levels in the world.

It is just as obvious that churches and Christians all over the world know about reconciliation. The message of reconciliation is indeed being preached continuously and even profusely.

If the above statements are true - why is the world still starving for reconciliation?

When I read 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 again with this question in mind, what struck me was that Paul emphasises that God has given him "the ministry of reconciliation" (verse 18) and "entrusting to us the message of reconciliation" (verse 19) and then concluded: "So we are ambassadors for Christ" (verse 20a).

Paul understood that it is not enough to be only a messenger of the message of reconciliation. The true messenger becomes an ambassador. The message of reconciliation needs to be embodied. It was first embodied when Christ "died for all" (verse 15). It was embodied when Paul put himself on the line for the people in Corinth.

In the context of the AIDS pandemic I have learned that a message of reconciliation that is only words is not enough. Barriers of stigma, self-stigma, fear, blame, et cetera are not broken down by messages alone. They can, however, be overcome when reconciliation is embodied by ambassadors of God's reconciliation.

What the broken world we are living in really need, are more Christians who LIVE God's reconciliation. Isn't this what Paul means when he says "if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation" (verse 17)?
To think about (or discuss): What do people see in my life (our lives) - someone who only talks about reconciliation or someone whose life has been changed by God's reconciliation?
Author: 
N du Toit (Ds)
Language: 
English
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