New Creation and the Power of Reconciliation

                  New Creation and the Power of Reconciliation
 
2nd Corinthians 5:14-20 
 
 
In 2nd Corinthians 5:14-20, St. Paul writes to the church of Corinth about New Creation and Reconciliation. Both of these subjects go hand in hand when attempting to live the ultimate Christian life. In this reading, the New Creation refers to baptism and how if one is in Christ then their old ways have passed away and they are born new (verse 17). Reconciliation with Christ means to restore our relationship with Christ. If we as individuals allow ourselves to recognize the fact that we are all born new through the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ and humble ourselves to reconcile with Christ, then we will all be able start a new life within him. 

Verse 15 perfectly sums up how we as Orthodox Christians should aim to live our lives: no longer for ourselves, but for Him who died for us and rose again. This can be a very sensitive topic because many of us do not like to discuss how we personally live for Christ nor do we like to be told we may be doing something wrong. Many of us just aim to live purely by faith alone and disregard the works of a Christian that come from a true faith. We have all been invited to live for Christ and we hope to receive eternal life. Regardless of what struggles we may be experiencing, big or small, we must all remember that no matter what we do in our lives, we do it for the Lord. When we humble ourselves and allow God to fully enter our hearts and minds, we take a step in the right direction. Remember there is more to life than just our individual needs and wants. God has a plan, but we must be willing to allow him in and allow him to guide us. 

Probably one of the hardest things to do as a person is to reconcile with someone. To reconcile means to restore the relationship between two people. Reconciliation is forgiveness in action. In verses 18-20, St. Paul is pleading for us to be reconcile with God. Through Jesus Christ, God has been reconciled with us. The innocent, Jesus Christ, voluntarily lowered himself for our sins. In verse 19 there is a beautiful fact that many of us forget about in our daily lives: “not imputing their trespasses to them.” Christ’s crucifixion was a rescue mission. Christ rescued us from death and sin through his death on the cross. Through the participation in the life of Christ, his death and resurrection, we are reconciled with God. Another good way to reconcile with God is through the sacrament of Holy Confession. Holy confession allows one to be assured they have received divine forgiveness. This sacrament is perfect for when a habitual sin has overwhelmed a Christian or when a Christian has stopped growing spiritually and needs to reexamine their priorities. 

The life of a Christian is not an easy one, no one said it would be. However that does not change the fact that we all are called to reconcile with God and live within Him. The very reality of our lives as Christians is that we constantly live in sin. Even when we do not realize it, we sin and hurt our relationship with God. The act of reconciliation is not a one-time thing. That is why God has taught us how to ask forgiveness and reconcile. We are all new creations of God, but it is up to us to determine how well we want our relationship with Him to be. As Orthodox Christians we all carry a cross and it is not about how long we can carry that cross but rather when we fall, do we pick up our cross and continue the journey. The road is long and narrow but God’s mercy is endless. God has given us all the pieces but it us up to us to put it together and implement it in our daily lives. 

Questions for Reflection:

1. Have you truly reconciled yourself with God? 

2. Reflect on ways that you can improve how you deal with struggles in your daily life and how you can implement your faith in those moments.