Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Rivers of Reconciliation

My husband and I have done a lot of counseling lately and it has started me thinking a lot about reconciliation.  2 Corinthians 5:18 says, "And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation."  The bible refers to those Christians who will be "rivers of reconciliation." 

Webster's definition of reconciliation is: reuniting, reunion, bringing together (again), conciliation, reconcilement, fence-mending.

We as Christians are to be a light in this world to those who are in darkness, bringing the hurting, the wounded; the burdened to Christ.  We are to show those who can't find their way that he is the Way, and help them to come to him so he can fill them, heal them and reconcile them to himself.  As ministers, it is not our calling or responsibility to do the reconciling.  It is however, our responsibility to lead the way to him so that he can.

As rivers of reconciliation we are in the process of reconciling (reuniting) people to Christ, and we will be full of God's love, mercy and compassion.  Since that is so, we cannot help but be stirred by other's pain.  1 Corinthians 12:26 says, "And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it." 

It is imperative that we know the boundaries, for they are most definitely there.  We are to bring the burdened person to Christ so they can give their burden to him.  We are not to carry the burden on our shoulders for them.  
 
I recently counseled someone to "feel the pain."  If we do not let the pain come then we will not let God deal with it.  It will end up buried somewhere deep inside of us and most certainly rear its' ugly head at a later time. 

I think about Jesus on his way to Golgotha.  He was carrying his cross (his burden) and he was bending low beneath it.  His body racked with pain and now physically weak, even the Roman guard recognized that Jesus was unable to carry it any further, and he ordered Simon to take over.  It may seem that I am contradicting myself by saying we shouldn't bear someone else's burdens on our own shoulders and then point out that Simon carried Jesus' burden.  But here is the key, Simon walked with Jesus to the end, to Calvary, where Jesus suffered and died, but then after death was resurrected and reconciled back to the Father. 

It is okay brethren, to help carry someone's burden as long as you are leading them to the cross of Christ where the two of you together will lay it down at the feet of God.  But do not take someone's burdens on your shoulders to carry around indefinitely while you try to figure out the answers for them. 

It all comes down to this, Jesus is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE.  Reconcile the hurting and lost to him, where they will find the "way" for themselves, the "truth" to make them free, and the "life" available to them that is pure and everlasting.