Lighting the candle:Let the spirit of reconciliation lead in 2017

“While we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son…All this is from God who through Christ reconciled us to Himself…” (Romans 5: 10; 2 Corinthians 5: 18)  

Reconciliation can be simply understood as an end to a disagreement and the start of a good relationship again. It means a change in relationship between people who were once separated and opposed to each other but now are friends again. Reconciliation changes their broken relationship. They now have peace with each other.

Makhumbo Munthali

The prevalence of conflicts or disagreements makes the process of reconciliation a vital element in ensuring peace and harmony amongst people.  A society void of reconciliation is likely to degenerate into chaos, hatred, and discontent. Christians, by virtue of being in the world, are not exempted from being subjected to conflicts or disagreements amongst themselves or with non-Christians. It is in view of this set-up that the spirit of reconciliation must occupy a centre stage in the lives of Christians.

To begin with, reconciliation has divine roots. And in fact, God is the architect of reconciliation. Reconciliation can therefore be traced to the story of the fall of man in Genesis chapter 3. By disobedience, man became God’s enemy (Col1:21) and hence cut off from Him. This is clearly put in the words of Apostle Paul as follows:  “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God but are being justified freely [made right with God or reconciled to God] by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3: 23-24).  As a result of this disobedience, it also meant that it was impossible for man to take his own initiative to reconcile himself to God. This was the case because of the nature of sin in him. Amazingly, God out of his abundance of mercy and compassion took the initiative of reconciling man to Himself through the death and resurrection of our LORD Jesus Christ whom God had “set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God” (Romans 3: 25).

In His wisdom, God realized that only when the relationship with Him is restored relations between people can be healed. God was, therefore, making all mankind his friends through Christ. This was done in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus (Col1:22; Ephes2:1-10; 1 John3:2; Rom5:10-11; Col1:19-22). On account of this reconciliation, “…if anybody does sin we have one who speaks to the Father in our defence-Jesus Christ, the Righteous one who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and also for the sins of the world (1John2:1-2)”. This is the effect of the reconciliation which God offers to all.

Besides, God-initiated reconciliation does not only bring peace with God but also peace between one man, or woman and another. Those who were once enemies find themselves members of the same family when they are reconciled to God. This is the case because the things that divided them are unimportant compared to the relationship with God which now unites them.

In relation to God-initiated reconciliation, Christians must be in forefront of extending reconciliation to others since they comprehensively know the fruit of reconciliation-as evident in the salvation we have. They must comprehend the fact that the salvation we cherish today is a product of reconciliation effected by God. Without it we were destined for hell or doom. The fact that we know the benefits of reconciliation guarantees us to offer it others. If God reconciled us to himself what should fail us to do the same to those who have wronged us. Most significantly, reconciliation reflects love, humility, and the fear of the Lord.

It’s time to light the candle by allowing the Spirit of Reconciliation to take lead in all our affairs!

“Light shines in darkness, and darkness did not overcome it” John 1: 5

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