Since almost the beginning of time, humanity has been in desperate need of reconciliation. Ever since Adam and Eve ate the fruit in the Garden and sin entered the world, humanity has needed reconciliation. Soon Cain Killed Abel, Lamech boasted in his own sin, and God lamented creating the world in the first place. Even after the reboot with the flood, things turned sour quickly as God acknowledged that every inclination of man’s heart is toward evil. The cycle has continued to our own day, as we are surrounded by wars, broken families, drug deals, and abusive relationships. Since almost the beginning of time humanity has been in desperate need of reconciliation, and since almost the beginning of time, God has been actively seeking a redeemed and restored relationship.
Sometimes we forget how desperately God is seeking reconciliation. We forget that God is actively pursuing relationship with humanity. God did not just start this last week, or even in the time of Jesus. From the beginning, even in the Garden, God was seeking to restore what was lost. Before Adam and Eve even left the Garden, God was making clothing for them to cover their shame and nakedness and to care for them in their new state of fallenness. Even in the Garden, God was hinting at a future time when a descendant of Eve would crush Satan under his feet. Even in the Garden, God was looking forward to the time when God would come in the flesh and Jesus would become the propitiation for our sin. Jesus did not just atone for our sins, Jesus placed us in God’s good favor again. Jesus restored relationship; bringing together what had once been separated. Through Jesus, a new relationship is possible, a restored relationship with God that allows one to not just escape sin and go to Heaven, but allows one to live as a participant in the Kingdom now. Life can change now. Life can have meaning and purpose now. There is no need to wait. Thus Paul writes to the Corinthians.
We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2 (ESV)
Sadly, we have a problem with procrastination. We have a problem with our priorities. We allow less important things to take the place of prominence in our lives. We become so busy that we allow the next thing due to become what is most urgent, even if it is not what is most important. We have fallen into the trap of filling our lives with so many activities that what is most important becomes lost in a sea of never-ending activities and requirements. Shame on us for allowing those things that are not as important to take the place of what is most important. Shame on us for failing to teach our children, or failing to set priorities in our families to make sure we accomplish what is most important.
And what is most important; our reconciliation with God. Paul says, I urge you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled. There is a sense of urgency in Paul’s request. This is something that can not wait another week, another day, or even another hour. Now is the favorable time. Now is the day of salvation. Be reconciled to God.
Why do we continue to play with sin? Why do we continue to fool ourselves into thinking we have more time to rectify our lives? We convince ourselves that our sin is not really that bad. We convince ourselves that no one is perfect. We convince ourselves that for the most part we are good people. So, it’s alright if we sin a little. It’s alright if we have too much to drink. It’s alright if our pride or greed cause us to make poor choices. It’s alright if we mistreat our spouse or children. We’ve lost the sense of urgency. We know we are saved by grace so we don’t mind dabbling in sin. But nothing is more important than our relationship with God. God is seeking reconciliation, all we have to do is accept the offer.
I urge you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled.