Atonement and the Ministry of Reconciliation
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
Reconciliation is at the heart of life’s business. If the most important single factor about any of our lives is God’s having reconciled us to God’s very self, then the proper celebration of our reconciliation is to share it with others by fostering reconciliation and atonement wherever and whenever we can.
Reconciliation is hard work. Jesus’ hardest prayer was comprised of the words shared on the Mount of Olives when he said: “I am deeply grieved, even to death…” and going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want” (Matthew 26:38-39).
When we pray A Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition, we embark on the most challenging course a disciple may tread: “I am no longer my own, but thine. Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt. Put me to doing, put me to suffering. Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee, exalted for thee or brought low for thee. Let me be full, let me be empty. Let me have all things, let me have nothing. I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal. And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it. And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.”