Rarely a week goes by that I don’t wake up in the morning with reconciliation on my mind. I have been living, eating, and breathing this biblical truth for so long – and I would like to share a memory on this theme with WGA blog readers today.
When I first spoke on this topic, it was at my home church on Mother’s Day a few years ago. Mother’s Day special presentations at church always trigger a strong memory; it was during an awards presentation for mothers when I was just a baby Christian barely 2 years old that I learned of God’s imminent loving presence.
It was an award ceremony for Mothers – the youngest and oldest mothers, the one who had traveled the farthest; this seemed to go on and on. I hadn’t been in a good place for several weeks and that morning I was in a black mood as I arrived at church with my husband and all the kids.
No one could have known by the way we looked that my thoughts were dark (step-parenting was hard; I worked full time and needed a break; the kids had made me breakfast in bed and the kitchen was a disaster.) I was a resentful and bitter mother on that Mother’s Day. And on top of it all, there were mothers who were getting awards!
As the celebration went on, I was thinking, “I deserve an award; no one knows what I have to deal with . . .” Then the last award was announced for, “… a mother of a preschooler and teenagers, a mother who works full time, a mother who. . . .” The realization dawned. “There is no one in this church that fits that description except me!”
Walking up woodenly to receive an award, when my heart was so far from worthy, I could barely put one foot in front of the other. In that stunned state, the Lord spoke to me directly, “While you were yet sinning; I died for you.” In that day, knowing I least deserved it, my heart was reconciled to God, to my family, to the family of God.
Not many that day knew their part in the reconciliation of Mary, because each part was so small:
- a Mother’s Day planning committee that noticed and recognized me;
- my family beaming at me when I turned around to face them with flowers in hand;
- my brothers and sisters in Christ who gathered every week to worship and study in Sunday School together;
Through the collective ministry of my church family, I suddenly realized I belonged! Teamwork – the ministry of reconciliation in action!
“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: a The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 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.” 1 Corin 5:16-19
Note: Look for more musings on reconciliation in the next few blogs. I want to share some thoughts with you about the importance of the ministry of reconciliation.
Mary is one of the founders of Where Grace Abounds and served as Executive Director from its inception on July, 1986 through March 31st, 2007. She speaks and teaches at churches and conferences across the country. She has also served on several boards of non-profit organizations, is a conference speaker on a variety of topics that include: Intimacy with God, Healthy Sexuality, and leadership development. She currently serves in leadership in her denomination. Mary’s favorite ministry roles are discipleship counseling, group facilitation, and leadership development.
Mary often characterizes herself as “a seeker of Truth” and has a long-standing fascination with human behavior and motiviation. Her education consists of lay and discipleship counseling, indepentent study about the integration of psychology and theology, counseling and human sexuality. She also holds a BS in Human Services and an MA in Psychology from Regis University.
Mary attends a Friends (Quaker) Church.
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