“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” — 2 Cor. 5:18
The apostle Paul seems to be a bit redundant using the words like: Reconciled … reconciliation … reconciling … reconciliation … be reconciled.
Simple words, repeated frequently.
It’s like he is singing a song, a Song of Reconciliation.
There are some songs you just can’t get out of your heads. How come? It’s because of something called “processing fluency.” It’s a technique the apostle Paul uses in today’s epistle reading.
There are many catchy pieces of music that lodge themselves deep in our brain. Over the years, there have been many such tunes that get into our heads and then don’t ever get out. Think of …
“Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead” from The Wizard of Oz.
Disney’s “It’s a Small World.”
“Who Let the Dogs Out” by Baha Men.
Researchers have discovered that a song’s popularity is tied to the simplicity of the lyrics and how often they are repeated. They are finding that the human brain has a weakness for plainness.
So, the song for today is a “Song of Reconciliation” which is so desperately needed in Logan, in West Virginia and the world. Paul tells us that God has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ and we are to do likewise. We are to reconcile ourselves to others and insure that the love of Jesus Christ is carried throughout the world. God is not counting people’s sins against them so why would we. We are to reconcile with each other and to demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ.
Where do you see a dispute that needs to be resolved? With your spouse? With a family member? With a friend? With a fellow church member? With a group in the community? We need to sing a song of reconciliation today, because we are hurting from division — as individuals, as a church, as a nation and as a world.
Reconciliation happens when we speak open and honest words which, in turn, lead to new and peaceful relationships. Disputes are resolved when we offer and accept forgiveness based on the work that God has done in Christ.
Reconciliation happens when we show each other love, mercy and a self-giving grace. This work can be done in our personal relationships, among groups in our congregation, in our increasingly-diverse communities, and in the world around us.
Reconciliation is a song that should be inescapable in the Christian church, impossible to avoid or ignore. So let’s sing it together, keeping it simple and repeating it as frequently as we can.
Rev. Thomas Beckette is pastor of Nighbert United Methodist Church and a member of the Logan Ministerial Association.