The Glorious Miracle We Are Tasked With, because we have life in Christ.
Devotional Thought of the Day:
20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! 21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” John 20:20-23 (NLT)
17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 (NLT)
193 Those who have met Christ cannot shut themselves in their own little world: how sad such a limitation would be! They must open out like a fan in order to reach all souls. Each one has to create—and widen— a circle of friends, whom he can influence with his professional prestige, with his behaviour, with his friendship, so that Christ may exercise his influence by means of that professional prestige, that behaviour, that friendship. (1)
In a recent class i was teaching, the question of miracles came up. Does the Holy Spirit still accomplish them, and does He still do it through people that have been saved?
My answer, “Without a doubt yes. God isn’t subject to the doctrines of the enlightenment.”
But it got me thinking, what is a miracle, and are we as aware of God doing the impossible as we should be? Also, I thought a moment, if the Resurrection of Jesus is the greatest of miracles, is not the resurrection of one dead in sin, which happens when they are united to Christ in His death and resurrection, also a glorious thing? It is, whether it is a newborn baby, a prodigal teen, or an elderly person, who finally heard that God’s love was for them. This is why the reading from Corinthians starts with our being given a new life
But that life, like Christ’s is sent into the world, and given the same task, the task of reconciling the world to the Father. Just as Christ brought us back to the Father. The word there that the NLT translates as task, other translations talk about as ministry, or service. I am not sure why, but many in the church hear this as optional, or restricted to a few, or perhaps we are just apathetic. But this is why we are sent, more importantly it is why He was sent, to see God at work, through His word, through the sacraments, calling people and seeing the reconciled to God. That is what forgiveness is about – not just wiping a slate clean – but healing and restoring relationships that have been broken.
We weren’t sent to establish clubs, or to be wordsmiths, or to write music, or to become rich and respected. That is not our raison d’etre, our reason for being. Walking with God is, and part of that is doing what He does, reconciling people to Himself. Whatever it takes, even death..
God does use those talents, the respect or prestige we gain, our behavior and our friendships to reach people. Even as Christ befriended us. But the talents are given to use as we see people reconciled to God. It is part of the very gift we are given as God makes us new creations, as He gives us new life.
And yes, that means we find new people to reach, that they may be reconciled. It means we do see our vocations as part of our ministry, part of our Christian life. Not just as an obligation, but whom we are in Christ.
May we be in awe at the work Jesus does in us, and through us, as God reconciles the world to Himself! AMEN
While this is eternal, there is also a
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 1017-1021). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Posted on May 7, 2014, in Devotions, The Furrow and tagged Aposolate, forgiveness, Life in Christ, Ministry, miracles, Missional, Office of the Keys, reconciliation, St. Josemaria Escriva. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.