In-Sight: A Reconciling Church

A reconciled church is given a ministry of reconciliation by God, so that it can be in sync with the Risen Christ, who seeks to reconcile all things to himself (2 Corinthians 5:18-19; Colossians 1:20).

Today we turn to the second question, what would a reconciling church look like?  Surely we are on safe ground to propose that the faith, hope, and love which gives us life would be what we extend to others.  Surely we would not offer to others less than we claim for ourselves.  These core virtues would be our central witness.

In addition a reconciling church would appear to others to be Christlike, which at least means manifesting the fruit of the Spirit toward all people: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. 

Along with these things, a reconciling church would open its doors in ways that make others feel safe and of sacred worth, offering them the sacraments, sacred ceremonies which enable them to make and keep vows, and all the other means of grace which would grow them as disciples of Jesus who worship and work in his name.

A reconciling church would exist more outside the walls than inside, acknowledging that to refuse to serve anyone reduces the Great Commission.  Vocational discipleship would be the norm, as people of all walks of life would fan out across the street and around the world to be ambassadors of Christ, ministering God’s grace through their manifold acts and routine work.

A reconciling church would be a church that is alive with the Spirit, a church where the Risen Christ says day after day, “do not be afraid; I have overcome the world.”

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
This entry was posted in In-Sight. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to In-Sight: A Reconciling Church

  1. I like your reference to the Risen Christ, Steve. I am happy to live in a church that acknowledges its differences on social matters. But I fear we have many UM clergy among us who could not confess that Christ is risen in a real, physical, and salvific way. Should we be reconciled to them?

Comments are closed.