“I’m sending you home.” My manager stated to me that I was too old to continue my volunteer work. Really? How long will this last? How can I fill in my days on my own having no interaction with my clients? I cried!
Now what? Lots of time to do what I want, what I feel like doing, no commitments, nowhere to go. Perhaps I could read something – I have lots of time. My son suggested that I could look back on Luther’s Small Catechism. I had been avoiding this particular study booklet as other books seemed more interesting. Of course I had done Confirmation classes and I knew what was in the Catechism – or did I?
Before I had gone too far I realised that this study was about relationships, conflict, confession, forgiveness, reconciliation, God’s love for me, God’s promises to me, and heaps and heaps of Bible verses. Looking up the Bible verses, I found, was (and is) the best part!
This isn’t just what Luther says, it’s what God says – to me! I am his child, loved, precious, forgiven, and have been given a place in heaven with him. Really? I needed more of this.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17-18 I read, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come. All this from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” ‘What does this mean for me?’ I wondered. What is this ‘ministry of reconciliation’ that God has given to us? How did God reconcile us to himself through Christ? How do we become a new creation? I had to find out who I am in Christ and what he has done for me. Sounds like a journey I could take during this time of confusion and ‘pandemonium’.
As I journeyed from Baptism, the Ten Commandments, Confession, The Creed, etc. ‘my eyes were opened to understand the Scriptures!’ This is all about me! This is all about what God has done for me – little old me whom no one wants to serve them. I am not redundant! I am a child of God, baptised into his kingdom to receive his Holy Spirit, given the faith to believe that God sent Jesus to die on the cross just for me, so that I need have no guilt, shame, anger, bitterness, grievances, or anything else to weigh me down.
As I continued through these pages, the glory and love of God for me shone through every part of the sadness and negative experiences of my past. He planned all this before I was born! He knew all the troubles I was to have and he knew how to keep me in his loving care and protection. He continues to hold me in his loving embrace, I have the assurance that he is holding me in his everlasting arms!
Much is said about ‘Reconciliation’ in the media and churches today. Is it reconciliation that has Jesus at the centre, and is it reconciliation that brings his forgiveness?
This ‘ministry of reconciliation’ is God’s purpose for us in the life that he has given us. This is not just about nations coming together, but about us learning how to ‘love our neighbour’ as forgiven children of God. This is Biblical Reconciliation between God and me, and between me and all those people he places in my daily path. To God be the glory!
– Diane Kleinig