Let’s continue our chat about reconciliation.
Reconciliation is the noun form of the verb reconcile, which comes from the Latin reconciliāre, meaning “to make good again” or “to repair.”
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, reconciliation means to repair broken relationships. It can happen between two people, such as former friends who had a falling-out. Or it can happen between groups, such as warring factions in a country.
Furthermore, reconciliation creates more than just a truce. When true reconciliation occurs, the two formerly hostile sides become respectful of each other—and, ideally, friends [https://www.dictionary.com/browse/reconciliation]
The first record of the English word reconciliation comes from the 13th Century. (It’s interesting to note that this is the same century that the words agreement, harmony, justification, repair, repentance, reverse, and unity came into common usage in the English language.) Three hundred years later, William Tyndall incorporated these words and the concepts they convey into his 1526 first English language translation of the New Testament and part of the Old from the original Hebrew and Greek texts.
What does Scripture say about reconciliation?
God has committed to me the ministry of reconciliation:
that He reconciled the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.
2 Corinthians 5: 19 (paraphrased)
This comes from a longer passage in which Paul teaches the Corinthian Christians about the ministry of reconciliation:
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5: 11-21
But how does reconciliation fit into a world such as ours?
- One-in-five U.S. adults (20%) now describe their religion as “nothing in particular,” up from 14% who said this 10 years ago.
- All the subgroups that together make up the religious “nones” have grown over time. In the 2021 NPORS, 4% of respondents describe themselves as atheists (up from 2% in 2011), and 5% describe themselves as agnostics (up from 3% a decade ago).
- Eight-in-ten self-described born-again/evangelical Protestants (79%) say they pray every day.
- Roughly three-in-ten adults in the new survey (31%, down 2% from 2020) say they attend religious services at least once or twice a month, including 25% who say they attend at least once a week and 7% who attend once or twice a month.
It’s no wonder reconciliation is my personal spiritual theme for 2022.
What does this mean for me?
Consequently, I’m committing 2022 to
- delving into the concept of reconciliation
- meditating on reconciliation scriptures
- praying for a deeper grasp of reconciliation with God and people
- understanding the ways in which I have failed to reconcile with God and people
- reconciling with God and people as needed.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
(Second verse of “Make Me an Instrument of Thy Peace”)