Reconciliation is a key biblical theme. It appears in the teaching, storytelling, and example of Jesus. And Paul unpacks it in several of his letters. Reconciliation is “right-making in relationship.” Reconciliation is “right-making in relationship”—an attempt to restore the first thing that was damaged by the fall in Eden: the intimate, holy web of relationships among God and human beings. When reconciliation happens, the distance between us decreases.
It’s one thing to talk about all of this. It’s another thing to apply it. Our real relationships involve real humans living real lives with real hearts and hurts. Each reconciliation has to be carried out carefully and lovingly. To make things even more complicated, the scope of God’s reconciling mission is beyond our comprehension. Paul tells us that in Christ, God was reconciling “to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven” (Colossians 1:20). The work of reconciliation is never finished.
Fortunately, God does not require us to fully comprehend or fully achieve reconciliation. Instead, God inspires us to reach for it, while empowering us to pursue it.