And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:18
This summer we moved.
We spent months de-junking, organizing, collecting boxes and filling them, repairing the house, making donation runs, holding garage sales, and finally, loading everything to actually move. Every spare moment was spent preparing to pack up a house we called home for 10 years.
Oh, and did I mention we had a 2 month-old baby too?
This was baby number six for our growing family. Our older children really stepped up to the plate and worked independently. They filled boxes and when the time came, they loaded up box after box onto the truck. And at the new house they worked just as hard. But there were lots of bodies to manage.
I felt like I was swimming upstream.
I was getting very little sleep, with the baby getting up a few times each night and of course, our toddler decided to stop sleeping. During the day I was holding one or both babies, while trying to open boxes and decide where on earth to put the contents inside. By the end of the day, my brain was mush. I would fall into bed simply exhausted (often next to the stubborn toddler).
Until one night.
As I was shuffling towards my room, I felt a heavenly nudge to go upstairs and check on the kids. My seven year-old son was still awake in his room. As I sat on his bed, he latched his arms around my neck and wrapped his legs around my waist. He buried his face in my neck and held me tightly for several minutes. Tears came to both of our eyes and I hugged him back. My seven year-old had gotten a bit lost in the shuffle.
He wasn’t quite a big kid or a little kid.
He had lost all his friends.
He couldn’t find his favorite stuff.
His mom was frazzled and always tired.
And he was lonely.
Truth be told, I was lonely too. We had left so many good friends behind and I hadn’t found my rhythm in the new house yet. So we hugged. We found each other again. We reconnected. We reconciled.
And it felt so good.
I few days later I read in 2 Corinthians 5:18. We are called to a “ministry of reconciliation.” The Latin root of reconciliation means to come together again. We are called to be reconciled to our God and to our fellow brothers and sisters.
We are called to “come together again.”
Life can drive us apart. Mistakes can drive us apart. Sin can drive us apart. But through Christ, we can come together again. We can feel the deep embrace of God’s love and feel connected to Him again. We may feel separated from people in our families, or people at work or friends. We may feel a distance that we want to close. We can pray to know how to close that distance and be reconciled to them. In fact, we can sometimes feel distant from God when we have feelings of contempt for someone else. God wants us to love our neighbor and to reconnect with them. God will help us because He has given us the ministry of reconciliation. He wants us to come together again.
And just like that long hug with my son, it feels so good.
Insight and Inspiration
Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! (NIV)
Who do you feel distant from in your life? Will you trust God to help you reconcile with them?