The shift in the reconciliation metaphor takes what God has done through Christ a step further. The judge enters into a personal relationship with the accused. This is necessary because the judge is the one who has been sinned against and is the focus of the personal hostility. God does not simply make a bookkeeping alteration by dropping the charges against us. God gives himself to us in friendship. Because of our extreme hostility toward God, this investment [exchange] is accomplished at unspeakable cost.” David Garland NAC 2 Corinthians

This week I’m dwelling and meditating on reconciliation, what it means to be reconciled to God, and what it means to be both a minister and have the ministry of reconciliation. I really appreciated Garlands short note on the shift in metaphors that Paul makes in Romans 5:1-9, to Romans 10-11. God isn’t just a cosmic bookkeeper shifting about pages of info on us making the most coldly-logical conclusions as though he were Spock on a divinity trip. Not at all, God loves you and I as only a Creator/Father could.

And He gives himself to us not just in the verdict of being the justified, but in the relationship that has already been carried on privately and soley by Him from afar before we even entered His courtroom. That of a Father remissed for the death of his sons and daughters, but now over joyed at their promised resurrection in his firstborn Son. 

The one with the power and prestige comes down off the bench and grabs you and I by the scruff of our back neck pulls us in so tightly that the oxygen from our quivering, disbelieving lungs comes pouring out of us. And says I’d do it again and again if that’s what it took to have you back, I love you. And then with a glimer in His eyes He says where’s your brothers, where’s your sisters? Go and tell them what I’ve done, what I will do, and what awaits without me.

What an unspeakable cost he paid to free us, what an unspeakable ministy he has given to us. Perhaps the most beautiful and the most demanding words I live with on a daily basis are these words of Jesu, “GO AND DO LIKEWISE…” 

(Photographic art by Lowry Lou, entitled “Love makes the world go round“)