2 Corinthians 5:16-21
Author: Bill Smith
Reflection: v. 18, ‘the ministry of reconciliation’
This has always been one of my favorite passages. I love that Paul dispels the notion that you have to be somebody particularly special before you are converted. All the things that we think are really important for getting ahead in this world—who our parents are, what school we went to, how much money we have—aren’t what really matter. Paul dispels that notion. Anyone can come to God and be enough. Paul’s words dispel the notion that you have to be all that and a bag of chips before you are reconciled to God. Then Paul slams on the breaks and changes directions, and goes on to say that since you’ve been reconciled, now your job is to create reconciliation with others. There are some in the church who tend to think that only clergy can convert folk, that only clergy do the work of bringing people to God. And here’s the problem with that: Christ calls clergy and church leaders to be shepherds. Shepherds do not make sheep—sheep make more sheep! I believe that we are all called to make sheep. We are all called to convert. We are all called to bring others to the kingdom—to be ministers of reconciliation. That’s what Paul encourages us to be. He puts it back on us to work at reconciliation with one another. Whether its social justice, racial justice, or seeking justice for those experiencing poverty—whatever the form of justice looks like in your locale, that’s the work that we are called to as ministers of reconciliation.
Prayer God, who calls each and every one of us, guide us to be ministers of reconciliation and to seek justice in this world.