How Do You Spell Reconciliation?
1Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or His ear dull, that it cannot hear; 2but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear. 3Your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue mutters wickedness. —isaiah 59:1-3
When reconciliation is necessary, there’s a major problem on the table that can’t be talked or bargained away. One party has to be willing to set aside a just complaint in order that a relationship might be restored. And when it comes to the relationship between God and people, reconciliation was definitely necessary.
The problem was never on God’s side of the table; it was always on ours: “Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear dull, that it cannot hear”(Isaiah 59:1).Our problem is not that God can’t get to us. God’s not willing that any should perish (see 2 Peter 3:9, John 3:16). Here’s the problem: “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He does not hear. Your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue mutters wickedness.” (Isaiah 59:2-3). Ouch! Talk about a statement. That’s us. And the picture doesn’t improve if you look through this chapter.
But God brought the necessary solution: reconciliation. Isaiah 59:1-2 confronts us with our problem and describes the only One who could resolve it! Not only have our “iniquities” caused a separation between us and God, since God can’t have sin in His presence, but this is also a problem that we could not solve. Yet what we could not do, the Bible says, God did for us in sending His Son. When we were absolutely helpless, God came over to our side of the table!
God’s move is what the message of Christmas is all about—that He loves us and sent His Son so that we don’t have to stay in this sinful condition, but that we can actually be redeemed. That’s how He spells reconciliation! God doesn’t want us to be sinners; He wants us to be sons and daughters. This is the good news of Christmas: “. . . but God shows his love in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). The gift of His Son was given even though He knew the demonstration of love would include His Son’s death on the cross. Christmas is God moving toward us. —James MacDonald
· When I think about what God did to initiate reconciliation with me, how does that affect my willingness to move toward reconciliation with others during this season?
Prayer: Almighty Father in heaven, because of Your matchless example of reconciliation, we live with the challenge of being open to reconciliation with others. Remind us that though You knew the cost, You moved toward us. Show us that our gratitude must also be expressed in the way we ourselves forgive and are reconciled with those around us. We pray for the desire and wisdom in Jesus’ name. Amen.