By Brooke Holt
“Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.” - Book of Common Prayer, The Collect for Year B, Proper 29
We hear so much about reconciliation and restoration these days yet see so little progress in that direction. As people, we are so divided—ethnicities, races, religions, financial statuses, political parties, and even vaccine beliefs separate us. While the Constitution unites the people of the United States, many other ideologies divide us. What is the way forward towards a much-needed healing and reconciliation, and who will offer these solutions?
Certainly, our government has tried to mandate the way forward. We have mandated vaccines, which has led to layoffs and strikes. The church has sought to provide answers through promoting and supporting different lifestyles, ostracizing those who find them to be unbiblical. Communities, schools, and businesses rally together to promote unity and yet there are still many who find they don’t fit the agenda or feel included and cared for in these processes.
While all human institutions seek to do good, they will far too often fall short. There is only one true way towards the healing and restoration we so desperately need, and that is in the King of kings and Lord of lords. This Sunday, we celebrate Christ the King Sunday. It is momentous as we shift from one church year to the next. I love how the church year is completely different from the world’s year. While our worldly calendar begins on January 1, the church calendar begins with Advent.
As Christians, our lives are not defined by this world and our relationships in the world or to the world. Our lives are defined by Jesus Christ, the one true king. In the season of Advent, we anticipate his first and his second coming with faith. We have faith that his first coming leads to our salvation, our reconciliation to the Father through the Son. Reconciliation to one another then flows from that first healing.
The greatest reconciliation will come with Jesus’s second coming, when he comes not as the servant king but as the King of kings, the one who will restore this world and his people. That is the great hope of our Christian lives. On that day, every division between people will be gone except those who trust in Jesus and those who do not. As we wait upon that day, may we live more and more into that heavenly reality. Jesus has come; Jesus will come again; and our hope for reconciliation in this world and the world to come is found only in him.
Are you living in the full reconciliation found only in Jesus? Through him, you are fully reconciled to the Father but then called to be reconciled to one another. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
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