Beautiful Reconciliation

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created…all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together… For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind… he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him…

– St. Paul (Colossians 1)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself… and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ…

-St. Paul (2 Corinthians 5)

There is a belief that I hold. I’m not the only one who holds this belief. Many Christians today hold this belief and many in the early church held this belief. This belief has been consistantly held by the church over several centuries.

So what is it already? It is the fact that when Adam and Eve “fell” in the Garden of Eden and God removed them, all of creation fell. Part of the reason for believing this is that God created everything together. God didn’t create things in isolation from each other. God created things in a way that makes all things interconnected. This means that when Adam and Eve fell it would only make sense that all of creation fell at the same time.

If you read the verses above you can see Paul’s theology in light of this belief. Paul believed that all things were created through and for the Son. After the fall all things needed to be reconciled back to God. Without going into much detail we know that the death on the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ has accomplished the means of this reconciliation. Paul doesn’t stop with this. Paul believes that through this we who believe in Christ have become a new creation.

Paul also believes that we are ambassadors of this reconciliation. We are called to bring this reconciliation to all of creation. It would be easy to say, “I’m a new creation, let me sit back and enjoy it.” Paul’s argument is that we cannot. We are now, as part of this new creation, ambassadors with a mission.

This isn’t exactly something new. Most of us hear these kinds of things at church all of the time. We have to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. The great commission tells us to be ambassadors. There is something in here that we don’t often hear preaches. Paul refers to reconciling the “whole world” and “all creation” he even gets as specific to say “all things visible and invisible, all things in heaven and on earth.” Paul is talking about EVERYTHING, not just people.

God wants to reconcile everything to Him, everything He created, everything He loves and we are His ambassadors. We know how we can be ambassadors to other people. There are warehouses full of books on the subject and there have been millions of sermons preached on it.

My real point and my real question is this. How can we be ambassadors in the reconciliation of the entire earth? Maybe it’s time we start thinking about this. Maybe it’s about time we start doing something about this. Maybe it’s about time we act like the ambassadors that God expects us to be.

The whole earth is a living icon of the face of God

-St. John of Damascus

One thought on “Beautiful Reconciliation

  1. On the more practical level my Church just finished a six week sunday school class on recycling, reducing and, reusing. The class focused on being good stewards of what we are given and in ways discussed the reconciliation of God’s creation. Perhaps, more churches would be better served in taking up such “classes” and startin discussions on what the reconcilliation of God’s creation looks like. Certainly, not everything centers around recycling or being “green” but, and I agree with you, we have scores of information and hundreds of years of being ambassadors to the unsaved – but, what about being ambassadors to the abused earth??

    Good thoughts Paul. Interested in what your thinking – what do you suggest??

    – Jake

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