Reconciliation: Gospel Flourishing
Christians are reconciled to God through Jesus. This is a basic truth of the Christian faith, and it's a good, life-changing truth to be celebrated! "You who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ" (Ephesians 2:13). Praise God that Jesus has provided a way for us to be brought back to God! However, there's more to this glorious truth. If we limit the gospel to merely reconciliation with God, we miss out on much of its glory! Not only are Christians reconciled to God through Jesus, we are also reconciled to one another. That means that you are reconciled to fellow followers of Jesus in your own town and around the globe. The good news of the gospel is that through Jesus, we can experience life-changing relationships with others who are radically different than us.
In fact, we experience the fullness of the gospel most vividly when we are celebrating and enjoying it in the company of those who are different than us. This is also one of the ways to best proclaim the gospel. These are the sorts of relationships that can only be explained by the reality of God's grace - free grace that is not based on skin color, language, income, or your address.
So my question is: are you experiencing the fullness of the gospel through living in reconciled relationships with others who may be radically different than you? Are you learning from someone who is from a different culture? Do you have any friendships with people who look different than you look?
Here are some suggestions that may help you begin to build diverse relationships:
- Enjoy learning. You have a lot to learn from other cultures! Enjoy the foods, stories, jokes, customs, etc., that other cultures have to offer. Christians should be learners!
- Meet your neighbors. Sometimes you may have great diversity already around you. Go out of your way to meet and develop relationships with the people God has placed around you.
- Get out of your neighborhood. Visit a different part of town. Enjoy restaurants and festivals in a culturally diverse part of town.
- Take a risk. Get to know someone you don't know at your school. Sit somewhere different in the cafeteria. Talk to a coworker you don't already have a friendship with.
- Be humble. Remember grace. Remember that you are no better than those who are different from you. Jesus died for peoples of all nations and cultures. Keep your gaze on the gospel.