God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. ~2Corinthians 5:19-20
I look forward to receiving the notice from my bank that my monthly checking account statement is available. I like to reconcile my family’s Quicken account with it. Seeing the totals from the bank statement equal the transactions I’ve tracked on my computer is satisfying. Maybe you think that’s weird.
But I’m not the only one who loves reconciling. The almighty and eternal God does too! Okay, it’s not the same. He loves reconciling broken relationships. He loves to make peace where there would otherwise be war. He loves to balance the books when it comes to what needs to be in the holiness account versus what would be there based on our own efforts.
When we stand before God on our own, we are bankrupt. Our account of goodness and righteousness doesn’t contain what the Divine Accountant declares it should. Unclean thoughts, uncaring words, unloving actions toward him and others cause our ledger with God to be off…way off! But where he could and should come with retribution for the debt we owe, he comes instead with reconciliation.
That’s what Christmas is all about. God comes into our world in the person of Jesus Christ to reconcile himself with a sinful human race. He comes to take on himself the sins that blacken our books and to replace them with the righteousness that he alone can live and give. That’s what the angels are singing about when they sing about peace on earth, and that is what the apostle Paul is writing about in our verses for today: God has made peace with sinners through the life, death, and resurrection of his Son! The war is over! God has restored the relationship through the forgiveness won by Jesus!
God is not counting our sins against us because of Christ! We are God’s own children in and through Christ! We are heirs of eternal life and the perfect peace of heaven because of Jesus! Take that message to heart that you might have true peace. Take that message to others that they might enjoy it too.
Lord God, our gracious heavenly Father, we thank and praise you for sending your Son into our world to reconcile us to you! Let that truth take deep root in our hearts. Let that truth be one that we take also to others as your ambassadors. In Jesus’ name. Amen.