In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. (v. 19)
The car in front of me grabbed the last spot in the parking garage while a steady rain pelted and wind swirled outside. Parking in the outdoor lot meant struggling against the elements with a toddler in my arms. Grumbling at the driver who “stole my spot,” wisdom and peace came through a sweet two-year-old voice from the back seat: “It’s okay, Mimi.” For all her inexperience in life, my granddaughter is adept at reconciliation. She is quick to forgive, assumes the best, and smooths the rough spots. “It’s okay, Mimi” brought grace to my wearied impatience, instinctively trusting that I would offer the same.
Our passage is appropriate for the year’s end. It’s time to move past the sins of our world, both those committed with intention and those without. Through the work of Jesus Christ, God reconciled us to himself, making the old new and not counting our sins against us. What’s more, God trusts us to extend that same grace to others. He has made us his “ambassadors,” that is, his representatives, and he makes his appeal through us. We can say, “It’s okay,” not because sin doesn’t matter, but because Jesus Christ has dealt with it once and for all.
May the new year be filled with our attempts to outdo each other in love and forgiveness. —Jill English
As you pray, ask the Spirit to guide you in the ministry of reconciliation. Pray for the courage, wisdom, and strength to do so.