A friend of mine named Tim was preaching recently and he said that thanks to what Jesus has done for us through his life, death, and resurrection we are called to be “a force of reconciliation.”
I really like this image.
At first glance it’s an odd juxtaposition. The word “force” brings to my mind a group of armed people who have a purpose, maybe even a menacing purpose. And then the word “reconciliation” brings to my mind peacemaking, healing, and restored relationships. Furthermore, the word “force” also implies something about power and energy, while “reconciliation” seems to imply empathy and soft-heartedness.
But when the words are put in relationship with one another — “a force of reconciliation” — something special happens. We get a vision of a band of energized and empowered people who have come together for a purpose, namely to help bring fractured relationships back into proper order.
In fact, one of my favorite phrases in the English language is similar to this one in lots of ways. That saying is “wage peace.” The two words also seem to fit oddly together but when used alongside one another they have more impact. “A force of reconciliation” is the same.
So during this Lenten season when millions of followers of Jesus all around the world are considering our need for repentance individually and corporately while reflecting on the amazing work of Jesus, why don’t we also consider being a force of reconciliation?
Think about it: Jesus paid the ultimate price for us so that we might be reconciled and become reconcilers ourselves. He was obedient to the will of God, even obedient to death on the cross. And why did he do it? For us! And not just for us, but for us so that we might become agents of this same reconciliation we’ve experienced (Romans 5.10-11; 2 Corinthians 5.18-20).
So let’s band together in our Christian communities large and small and become people completely and totally marked by reconciliation in Jesus’ name — reconciliation with other people and reconciliation with God.