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Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Basis of Reconciliation

What happened when Jesus died? How did his death and resurrection make salvation possible? The answer is that by the voluntary sacrifice of his life, Christ willingly accepted the punishment for our sins, so that through our faith in him we could be reconciled with God – permanently.(Through the Year with Jimmy Carter, "The Most Important Moment in History", page 26).

Today (January 27th) is my 69th birthday. Yesterday on reading Jimmy Carter's meditation for the day I gleaned at this late date in my life a new insight. It came as a story that formed in my mind. Being a story, it does not strictly conform to facts. But for me it advances my understanding of man's reconciliation to God and God's reconciliation to man through the life and death of his only son, Jesus Christ. 

--The Story--

Once I had a neighbor and we never seemed to hit it off right. It began years ago when a large trash container was stationed on our street in front of my house. One day my neighbor came over with his own tools and volunteered to trim a tree in my yard and put the trimmings in the container. I told him I liked the tree the way it was and not to trim it. With some consternation he left my premises. From that point on things became colder and colder between us. When we approached each other on the street, we avoided eye contact and looked past each other.

Now my neighbor had a young son and in time his son and I became friends. Even so his father and I remain estranged. Then one day the son was involved in a serious motor scooter accident. I went to the hospital to visit him. When I went in his father was there, and when we glanced at each other the age-old wound between us asserted itself once again. Eventually, the doctor came in with a foreboding diagnosis. I looked at my friend lying unconscious on the bed, and I began weeping freely and uncontrollably. His father in silence looked at me for a long time. Then he came over quietly and embraced me. After a while he said, "I must love any man who loves my son so much."

Thus we are reconciled with our heavenly father when we love and believe in his son--the suffering servant for mankind.

[ Mother & I once attended Jimmy Carter's Sunday school class in Plains, GA.]

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