Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Reformation as Reconciliation

2 Corinthians 5:17-19
 "So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation:everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!  All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us."

We will gather for worship on October 30 and many congregations will make special note of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.  It is the birthday of the "Evangelical Church" or the "Protestant" church.  Luther's great hymn "A Might Fortress is our God" will be sung.  And far too often our celebrations will be marked by a history of anti-Roman Catholic sentiment.  

And then in Lund, Sweden the Pope will jointly preside at a Reformation Service with representatives of the Lutheran Church, celebrating the Reformation by commemorating 50 years of Roman Catholic/Lutheran dialogues that are aimed at achieving greater unity as the Body of Christ.

God has given us the ministry of reconciliation.

It is my belief that given the fractured nature of the Body of Christ today, one cannot talk of a Spirit led reformation of the Church without recognizing that for us, reformation needs to involve reconciliation.

It's what Christ was up too.  And he "entrusted the message of reconciliation to us".

But even more important than focusing on the needed reconciliation within the Body of Christ, ours is a ministry of reconciliation that extends beyond the Church to all those who remain as 'outsiders', estranged from God and the Body of Christ which is the Church.

If as I say, the Reformation ought to be about Reconciliation, then rather than our celebration being about the break away from the Roman Catholic Church, it ought to be a major mission festival.  Together the Church's of the Reformation, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Eastern Orthodox Churches share in the Evangelical mission of reconciliation.  That is where our unity is to be found.

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