Righteousness, Justice, and Reconciliation…

What a beautiful picture is painted in Hebrews 1 and Colossians 1.  Both point to the supremacy of Christ, and through them both His love of justice and His call to reconciliation.  

“But to the son:  Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the scepter of your kingdom is the scepter of justice.  You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; this is why God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of joy beyond your companions.”                      — Heb. 1:8-9 CSB
“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and thorough him to reconcile everything to himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated and hostile in your minds expressed in your evil actions.  But now he has reconciled you by his physical body through his death, to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before him.”  — Col. 1:19-22

The God of righteousness and justice is also the God of reconciliation.

He is righteous and just, and because of our sin we were hostile and evil.  But He did what was necessary to pay the price for us to be reconciled to Him.  And as it says in Col. 1:23, this is for “all creation.” 

For us as His church, we are called to be His hands and feet.  So He who came to reconcile the world to Himself, has given us the responsibility to be a people of reconciliation.  Paul makes it clear that this was for the Gentiles as well as the Jews, for everyone!  For us as a church, we should be a people of righteousness and justice, as well as agents of peace and reconciliation.  This is for people of all socio-economic backgrounds

This is a tall order, especially today where divisions are found everywhere — even in the church.  But it should not be so!  We need to become more like Christ, pushing for righteousness, justice and reconciliation!  This means fighting for all while holding strong to the tenants of our faith. 

In this the only side we can choose is Christ’s side!

For the multiethnic church (and should there be any other in light of this reality), we need to step into the gap, holding to righteousness while seeking justice for those in need.  It is not an easy call, but we have been called for a time such as this.  

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in his final address before he was assassinated, stated this about the time he was called to.  When looking at the time God called him to be on the earth, if given the choice, he stated,   

“Strange enough, I would turn to the Almighty and say, ‘If you allow me to live just a few years in the second half of the twentieth century, I will be happy.’”   

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. saw the church as God’s agent for justice, righteousness, and reconciliation, standing in the gap in a divided country.  And he was please with God to be able to be used by God to make a difference in the church and in the country. Unfortunately, so few were willing to stand in the gap with him.  Oh, how little has changed in a half century.

These are difficult times, no doubt.  But God has work for us to do on His behalf (Eph. 2:10). Are you ready to stand in the gap, not looking to the right or the left, to the democrats or republicans, but to Jesus, saying, “Here I am Lord, use me for Your glory!”  May Your kingdom be the one that we seek, now and forever.

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