Lord's Day Liturgy

Contradicting the Celebrating

God is in the business of reconciliation. Paul said that God “reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).

This is what God did in Christ. This is what the divine Christ did. This is what happens when the fullness of God takes on flesh: He gives Himself to bring together what was split apart.

For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (Colossians 1:19–20)

The division between God and man was resolved, sorted out, healed. The cost was great: “the blood of his cross.” Crucifixion restored peace.

And that is to be so among us, between one another.

And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him (Colossians 1:21–22)

What does that holiness include? It includes loving your brother. What does that blamelessness look like? It means not slandering or bad mouthing another member of the body. What does being above reproach involve? It involves living consistently with the communion that Christ purchased by His blood.

We are not allowed to hold onto grudges, bitterness, malice, or envy against one another. If you have something against your brother, you need to make it right. “If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24). We celebrate our reconciliation around this table, so don’t contradict the celebration by refusing to be reconciled with one another.