As we have done throughout previous Lenten and Advent seasons, we are again blogging through the Lectionary readings in this Lenten season. This year, however, due to our travels in Central Asia, we have asked a number of guests to blog for us. These guests are individuals who are influential in our lives and work. We're honored to share this space with them-and with you–in this season of reflection.
A reading from Paul's second epistle to the church at Corinth.
Because of this decision we don't evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don't look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We're Christ's representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God's work of making things right between them. We're speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he's already a friend with you.
How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.
— 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 (MSG)
That's awesome stuff!
God setting people into right relationship with Him and others. Giving the world a fresh start. A reset button, if you would.
But, it doesn't stop there. Paul goes on to present the rest of the story. Because of this reset, we are to be representatives–ambassadors–of this reconciliation.
Blessed. To be a blessing. To all nations.
That is the whole Gospel.
We are reconciled to Christ. To take the message of reconciliation with Christ. To all people. Every tribe. Every tongue.
This message–the whole Gospel–is everywhere in Scripture. Beginning with Abram in Genesis 12, and ending with John on the Isle of Patmos in Revelation. Salvation is not just a ticket out of hell. It is the reconcilition of relationship between us and our creator made possible through His Son–the Messiah–for the purpose of bringing this message of reconciliation to the nations.
The whole Gospel.
The Gospel that transforms–reconciles–your whole life. It busts through the divide between sacred and secular. It brings all things into a state of new creation.
So that, we may take this Gospel of reconciliation to the entire world.
We are Christ's respresentatives. His ambassadors.
And as His ambassador, we say, “Become a friend of God. Become His son. Become His daughter. He is a good Father. And, He is already a friend to you.”