By REV. DR. BRIAN GIGEE
“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” – Hebrews 12:14
Some people are better at reconciling their check books and online statements than they are at managing the important relationships with the ones they love or deal with day to day. Reconciliation is tedious work. Never-ending it seems. Details must be tended to. ‘I’ s must be dotted and ‘T’s need crossed. It’s like an urgent letter written and placed in the sealed stamped envelope and mailed. Reconciliation comes with a reply. And even that reply may require an additional response. Reconciliation, then can be exhausting. However, God has set the standard when it comes to reconciling the world. We are either all in… or not in at all.
Remember how the old song goes… “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me…”? Well, that’s still true. The song’s words are prophetic. The peace on earth people are demonstrating for and marching about is for the peace that was meant to be… because we all know it’s not here yet! So, there must be a better way.
In Hebrew thought… when something is brought into reconciliation, it is covered over. Covered over as in not seen, no longer a problem. How simple and yet how difficult. But if reconciliation is needed now… it is because our brokenness remains the issue… with all of us admitting there is a problem to engage or all of us understanding that each and every one of us will suffer, still, if we do not.
Yet, there is good news! Having our sin covered up is never a problem for God. How’s that? Throw a blanket on a bushel of bad potatoes and you may not see them but, in time, you sure know they are close by! But, somehow, God has this uncanny willingness to not smell what is no longer visible. Thus, the stench of brokenness has become the sweet aroma of reconciliation … fixed in holiness as holiness is how God gets close to each of us leading us to grace and grace pointing out a new life and another chance at being the object of God’s desire and focus of an undivided attention.
Do you believe there’s a need for reconciliation in the world today? In our nation? In our cities? In our families? In our own hearts? Or is this someone else’s problem to fix? Or a problem so big we’ll never get to a solution? Tedious? Sure. Exhausting? Obviously. Avoided? Too often. Unattainable? If that’s what you want. It seems God keeps offering reconciliation and we keep pulling back the blanket! Faith matters, right?
In the opening chapters of Genesis, God had issues with the man and woman but yet gave them a certain holy protection upon their departure from the garden. Disobedience got covered up! David misused his kingly power when his sexual desires overcame his better sense. But God… reconciling… used Nathan the prophet to up the ante… and immorality is covered over. Zacchaeus, a greedy tax collector, gave back all he stole after Jesus called him out of a tree and made a mark over dinner. God at work, again, reconciling… and greed is covered up. Peter and Paul set the standard for ministry when their feud turned into a vision for mission both globally and locally. God at work still… reconciliation using disagreement for unity.
For me, Jesus is the Great Reconciler of all… as his work on the cross has covered up the sins of the world… as God now sees us through Jesus’ eyes… a people who have no sin… no more … forever … amen. God’s blanket is big enough! Let’s all strive toward holiness and live in peace!
Rev. Dr. Brian K. Gigee is a long-time resident of Pearland, having pastored four churches in Texas and Louisiana over the last four decades. Follow his blog ‘murmurings’ at https://briangigee.wordpress.com/. Your comments and/or questions are always welcomed to [email protected].