My favorite Bible is The Message paraphrase. It’s not a “study” Bible and sometimes I read other translations, but for my daily reading it just “sings” to me. This morning as I turned to Ephesians in the new testament I stopped to read the little introduction by Eugene H. Peterson and this particular statement stopped me in my tracks:
“…the energy of reconciliation is the dynamo at the heart of the universe…”
You know what that said to me? The energy of healing the rift between God and man is the power at the heart of the universe. Do you realize that at the very center of life on earth, past all our problems and limited understanding…our confusion and sin, God’s power is at work continuously to reconcile us to Himself?
Reconciliation. That word brings to mind thoughts of healing and forgiveness…a new and fresh start. It’s not a denial. No, there is an acknowledgement of the rift, the wrong, the pain and that is what makes reconciliation so triumphant and beautiful. Reconciliation comes because of the rift and brokeness.
For me this morning there is just something about the way Peterson phrased it…the energy of reconciliation is the dynamo at the heart of the universe…If we could only catch a glimpse of the truth. If we could only see past, for just a few minutes, all of the “stuff” of our lives. It’s hard to do, I know. Our problems can be so overwhelming. Pain can cut so deeply into our hearts that our only defense against it is to harden our hearts. We can become so tired and feel so hopeless that our goal becomes to just survive. I have been there. But, that dynamo, that power source, came to dwell in me as a little girl and so I could never completely give up. He wouldn’t let me.
The heart, or center, of all creation is Jesus. And the very reason Jesus was born into a human body and walked this earth was for reconciliation. He did not come to give us an example of “goodness” or to grace history with some worthy teaching and principles. Jesus is not simply a historical figure. Jesus is the dynamo! Jesus is the power of God for salvation…Jesus is your reconciliation.
Most certainly Jesus is the bridge that closes the gap between you and God as you trust your life to Him, but I want you to know He reconciles more than your relationship with God. Jesus reconciles relationships and marriages. He reconciles dreams and purpose. He heals every rift in our lives as we get to know Him. It happens day by day and step by step. The Spirit of Christ brings life! As His Spirit is invited into our heart and life in a real way, He resurrects relationships and dreams we thought long dead.
I truly believe as you come closer to the heart of God you will find compassionate healing. I can almost hear those thoughts some may have: “well she just has this really great connection with God but that’s not for everyone…I wish I could know God like that but I have too much junk…It looks like her life is pretty well together so it’s easy for her to say…” I just can’t bring myself to type “laugh out loud” on my blog…but don’t believe those lies! Thoughts like that are meant to keep you where you are. They are not true. God loves you enough to die for you. He wants to heal your heart and your life and He is more than able to do so. There are no “special born” candidates. The only thing you need to do is make yourself available and follow as He leads. You can’t wish away your pain. You can’t watch enough Oprah or read the latest book about “The Secret” to change your life. There is no real power in that. The dynamo, the power source, of the universe is only the God who created it. And the amazing part is He is very much available to each of us. So, if you need a reconciliation…if you are living on one side of a gap with God on the other…if you are living on one side of the house and your spouse on the other…if your hopes and dreams have been left in the past and you can’t go back…if your best intentions to do the right thing have been severed by what you actually chose to do…if your need for love and acceptance has been met with judgment and condemnation…if your soul is thirsty for the living water but you feel stuck on the river-bank…let Jesus be your bridge. Let the power at work at the heart of all Creation be at work in your heart.
Romans 8: 1-3 (the message)
With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous , low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a stong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death. God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all.
God is at work in the earth. He is at work in human hearts. He is at work in marriages and children, in finances and hopes and dreams. He is at work in cleansing and healing the sin-sick life. Reconciliation is found in a very real and honest relationship with Jesus. A “new power” can operate in your life. You can live through the power of God’s Spirit in your life. You can have that. It’s not meant for an elite and special group of preachers or missionaries or “good” people. I promise anyone truly living a “good” life knows it’s happening because they have let Jesus change their heart and it is Him working through them. You can have that. The verse above clearly states Jesus entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity. Jesus isn’t afraid of your struggles or your mess. He doesn’t wait for the mess to be cleaned up…Jesus will come into your life just the way it is. He brings peace and healing as we surrender to His love. You can have that. Do you want it?
Jesus, for any person that finishes reading this post and their answer is yes, I do want Jesus to come right into the middle of my mess, I ask that you help them to feel your love. Help them to surrender…to just invite you in. Lord, I know you are not a manipulator and you don’t force us. So, for any heart that is longing for You now…please help them find the words to say to you…to give you permission to invade their hearts and homes. I ask that you fill them with your Spirit and enable them to respond to you in obedience as you lead them today. Lead them to your love. In your name, Jesus.