Two Way Street
Originally scheduled for June 14
They have been our friends for many, many
years. So it was quite a shock to us to discover that he had filed
for divorce. Further investigation led to many sordid details which
need not interest us here. The one thing that stands out is that
both of them sought reconciliation — and found it very difficult.
Each of them wanted reconciliation on their own terms. But
reconciliation is a two-way street — and a toll road in both
directions. By God’s blessings the process has begun; but it will be
neither easy nor quick to put this marriage back together.
Most Christian thinkers frame the thought of
reconciliation in terms of what man must do to be reconciled with
God. We might summarize man’s attempt to reconcile with God in these
First, man must recognize that he is
the unrighteous one, the sinner. Blaming God for your troubles when
you are the sinner just doesn’t work.
Second, man must go through the
process of repentance and cleansing. It is a matter of prayer and
Repentance and cleansing must be
shown by the good works of the Christian. Good works are the result
of repentance, but not the cause.
We don’t often think about it, but there are
steps in reconciliation which God must take too — and He has.
By his very nature, God is just and
righteous. The price for our sins must be paid — and has been, at
This reconciliation must be in accord
with his nature, completely. God is love; therefore the
reconciliation he offers must be offered in a loving spirit. We
remember Jesus on the Cross saying, “Father, forgive them for they
know not what they do.”
Indeed, the Prodigal Son teaches us
that God is ever reaching out to the sinner.
Communion is the visible sign of the process of
reconciliation between man and God. In it, we acknowledge our
sinfulness — if we were sinless, we would not need communion. It is
a visible symbol of our pledge of repentance. It is also the visible
acknowledgment of the sacrifice Christ made on the Cross. The bread
is his body; the wine is his blood.
Most of all, communion is an acknowledgment
that we are reconciled to
our Lord. It is a statement that the things we must do and the
things God must do are indeed already done. Our Lord said, “it is
finished.” When we take communion, we are proclaiming that our
reconciliation is an accomplished fact.