…first be reconciled… Matthew 5:21-26 Reconciliation comes in many forms. In accounting it is the balancing that must occur between bank and personal ledgers. In human relationships it is the restoring of mutual respect between individuals. In history it is the process of coming face to face with the truth of the past and in religion, it is a returning to faith by the process of atonement. Most of us have had some experience with one or all of these things. At times it can be very frustrating or painful when reconciliation does not occur. For some imbalances, we simply learn to deal with it. For example when our check book is consistently five cents off from the bank statement, no matter how hard or long we look for that five cents we can’t find it. So because it’s only five cents we let it go. However, relationships and the past are very different. The smallest of incidences and misunderstandings have orphaned many relationships and still today issues from the past aren’t adequately addressed in truth, causing disparities that continue to exist in an intelligent and civilized world. The one theme that flows through each of these forms of reconciliation is that there is always (at least) two sides. Through Christ, God has reconciled to humankind. Thus, as believers, our first reconciliation is to God, but we are also called to be reconciled to one another. Rest assured, there will be issues that attempt to block our way. Yet again and again, along this journey, unlike that check book that never seems to balance, our commandment in Love requires that we never give up hope on our own disparity. Although recovery may seem unattainable, know that God is continually working towards healing that which has been broken.
If you will walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you shall rule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here. Zechariah 3:1-10 How many times have we heard these instructions? These are the words spoken, to assure the high priest Joshua, that God intends to keep his promise to the faithful remnant of Israel, who after near total destruction, repent and return to Judea. Joshua himself covered in filth, is by God’s grace made clean and clothed with festal apparel and a turban for his head. Even as the enemy stands ready to accuse, God does not forsake Joshua’s desire to lead the righteous. So too, though guilty we are not forgotten as God does not forsake the repentant heart. Today, we as believers are allowed over and again to step out of the muck and the mire and be washed clean, repent and give God access to cleanse us from the inside out. This promise of access to God’s faithfulness belongs to each of us. As he washes the filth away, and we hold to our life through Christ, by God’s grace and favor we are forever redeemed.
“You lack one thing … sell what you own and give the money to the poor.” Mark 10:17-31 You never know how attached you are to something until someone asks you to give it up. But to give something up means you now have room in your heart for something else. The rich man in the passage asked for eternal life but he didn’t realize that eternal life didn’t need his treasured possessions only his faith. Jesus encourages us, to not be found lacking! Make room for faith and have treasure in heaven.