Life After Grace-Week 6 // Reconciliation // Pastor Kate Murphy

Scripture:  Colossians 1:9-22

Dear Church,

As is our custom here at the Grove, in January I prayed and asked the Holy Spirit for wisdom to discern a word to guide us in faith and focus this year. For 2024, that word is reconciliation.

And so, on the last Sunday of our worship series ‘Life After Grace,’ we turn again to that word–reconciliation. Most of us know little more than the definition.  We know what the word means, but very few of us have any lived experience of deep, transformative relational repair.  Even worse, we don’t want it.

Our culture, secular and sacred, celebrates enmity and judgment. Perhaps especially in the church, our deepest animating passions surround what we’re against and who we reject. Our moral vision rarely exceeds the righteousness of exclusion. We believe that our enemies are no more than the worst things they’ve ever done.  We seek God’s grace to protect us, not reconcile us.  Which means, at our deepest level, we believe the power of sin supersedes the power of grace.

But reconciliation is the core of the revelation of Jesus. It is the ultimate and inevitable expression of grace.  Anything less than reconciliation isn’t grace at all.  When the thought of reconciliation fills our own hearts with resentment and suspicion, it is not our enemies that we are rejecting, but the way of Jesus and our own salvation.  If grace doesn’t heal and save our enemies, it doesn’t save us either.

I hope you’ll join me as we let the Spirit and the scriptures shape our vision and increase our desire for reconciliation.  We cannot believe what we cannot imagine. So first we’ll let scripture and Spirit help us imagine a life after grace where we, along with all the rest of creation, are healed and reconciled back to Christ.

Once our hardened hearts are softened and filled with the beauty of the goodness of reconciliation, then we’ll believe it and begin to long for and seek the power of grace to be part of it.


Pastor Kate

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