Rethinking our Christian Identity — The Ministry of Reconciliation

The Ministry of Reconciliation that God has entrusted to us is to tell the world of its rightful Owner and that his name is Love.

Passage:

There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit. The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said. But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.

“Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”

“He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,” they replied, “and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.”

Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?

Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed. — Matthew 21:33-39, NIV.

Reflection:

What exactly is our calling as Christians?

Once we’ve become adopted children of God [1], our responsibilities and earthly obligation transform. As Children of the Highest, we inherit the things that our Father has created – both the seen and the unseen. Our royal princeship gives us a unique identity that is not of the world [2]. Hence, our focus should not be on earthly concerns, but on something greater — our Father’s Kingdom and His Righteousness [3].

Jesus gave us a deeper insight into our role on earth in the Parable of the Tenants. The world is the vineyard that God has planted. This vineyard is the kingdom of God. Before we’ve known Christ, our identity is unlike anyone else He’s created — the tenants. Our key role was to do our best to ensure the well-being of the vineyard [4]; to work on it so that it bears fruits [5]. But now that we have become God’s adopted children, our identity shifts from that of a tenant to that of a servant. As servants, our responsibility on earth is still related to the fruits. But instead of working the soil, we are called to collect it [6].

I think that’s the core of our calling. To go into the vineyard that our Father has planted and gather its fruits.

The deceiver has gone out and seduced many. He has sown the seeds of hatred, anger, jealousy, and discontentment in the hearts of many [7], and has led many astray [8]. It is the fruit of the seeds the Enemy sowed that gave rise to the persecutions that we face. Throughout history, the tenants treated the servants of the vineyard the same way. And when Jesus Himself came, they killed Him thinking that they’ve gained the vineyard for themselves.

The tenants of the vineyard hated their Master. They forgot that the vineyard does not belong to them in the first place. But as adopted Children of God, we know the rightful Owner. And as long as the Father did not stop loving the tenants who hated Him, we cannot turn our face against them. That’s the Ministry of Reconciliation – to tell the world that God is its rightful Owner [9] and that His name is love [10].

Prayer:

Our Father in Heaven, we thank You for the great love that You’ve bestowed upon us. Who are we that You’d love us; let alone offering your Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us. To top this off, who are we that You’ve adopted us as your Children, inheriting the Kingdom alongside Christ? Father, for such grace upon grace that You’ve so lovingly given, we cannot help but sing You praises.

Our Father, we know Your heart through Your Son Jesus Christ. You’ve placed us here for a reason – that we may be One with you so that the world may know that Jesus was indeed sent into the world by You [11]. For that, we pray that You’ll guard our hearts and protect us from the evil one, to hold firmly to Your steadfast love, to accomplish the task that You’ve entrusted to us, to reconcile the world to You.

We pray all these in Jesus’ most precious name. Amen.

Footnotes:

[1] – In love, He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will. — Ephesians 1:5, NIV
[2] – If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. — John 15:19, NIV.
[3] – So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. — Matthew 6:31-33, NIV.
[4] – And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” — Genesis 1:28, NIV.
[5] – You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. — John 15:16, NIV.
[6] – When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit. — Matthew 21:34, NIV.
He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. — Luke 10:2, NIV.
[7] – But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. — Matthew 13:25-26, NIV.
[8] – They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. — 2 Timothy 3:6-7, NIV.
[9] – All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. — 2 Corinthians 5:18-19, NIV.
[10] – And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. — 1 John 4:16, ESV.
[11] – My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. — John 17:15, 20-21, NIV.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

2 Comments

  1. Excellent post. As Christians, our lives are a testimony to the work of Christ in our lives. We should definitely share what He has done for us with others so that they too might come to a saving faith in God through Jesus Christ. We can do that with words and with deeds.
    Blessings .

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s