All things are in need of reconciliation. True or False?
Just for the sake of argument, assume that statement is true. Why do all things need reconciliation? Because things are broken. You reconcile when you have a broken relationship. Something happened. Relationships break apart in all sorts of ways, right? From small slights to massive betrayals. A friend doesn’t save a seat for you in the cafeteria. A co-worker goes behind your back and tells the boss they think its your fault a sale didn’t go through. A cousin who you thought you were close to doesn’t attend your wedding, but on social media they post pictures of themselves at the movies. It gets exponentially worse from there. Spouses who cheat. Divorce. Ethnic and Racial divides. Political divides. Nation warring against nation. We know brokenness. We need reconciliation.
As we conclude this week’s five-part series on Colossians 1:15-20, which started here, so far we’ve learned an description of Jesus as the Creator Son, the Risen One, Fully God and Filled with God, and now Paul tells us what Jesus accomplished through being Firstborn not only over creation, but also Firstborn from the Dead. Look at Colossians 1, verse 20. “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.”
I started this post by mentioning the many kinds of brokenness in the world. But perhaps worst of all is the brokenness between creator and created. The entire cosmos is in alienation with the Creator. Of course, the epitome of this is humanity, because we believe humanity is epitome of creation. Humanity needs to be reconciled with God.
We know the need for reconciliation. We feel it. We sense deep within us a longing for the healing of that which is broken. That longing, though clearly misguided, was at the heart of the insurrection at the US Capitol. The same desire is at the heart of the many protests against racial injustice. It is at the heart of the use of guns and bombs to make war on other countries. The anger, the violence, and the bitterness all point to brokenness between creator and created, and our need for reconciliation. We watch the images from the world around us, and we know it.
So how does reconciliation happen for all things? Jesus’ work on the cross and his victory in resurrection was just what was needed. Jesus makes peace by his blood, Paul tells us. This talk of death and blood and sacrifice might not be welcome to our modern ears. Why does it have to be so gruesome, some wonder? Paul doesn’t answer that. Instead, we focus on what the loving, gracious act of Jesus accomplishes: peace, reconciliation. That which is broken, that which is held captive by the spiritual forces of darkness, is now free to experience peace and reconciliation. Creator and created can now live in harmony. This is astounding. This is the hope of the universe.
This means we can live now with that kind of hope and reconciliation flowing out of our lives. We are to be a people who emulate our reconciling Lord by practicing reconciliation in our relationships. We who have been forgiven, now we forgive.
Who do you need to reconcile with?
Are there races or ethnicities or genders or nationalities that you struggle with? What will you do to reconcile with them?
Consider that for Jesus it took blood-letting, his death, to bring reconciliation. What sacrificial step will you take? How will you give of yourself?
Consider that for Jesus, the Creator became the created, so that he might bring us to him. That’s a willingness to give up his identity, comfort and privilege. How will you give up your ease, your comfort in order to heal what is broken? What can you do to identify with the one whom you struggle with?