The memories may now be dim, but at some point in our past, we were sitting in a science class, and the teacher was describing a nuclear chain reaction that results in the release of tremendous amounts nuclear power, either to generate electricity for a city or to level it. The process is roughly one in which an atomic particle collides with another, knocking loose more particles which rush outward and collide with other particles as they go. Each collision sends an ever increasing number of particles scattering outward and releasing energy as they go. One single collision ultimately leads to the entire substance being affected, as each particle is dislodged from it original state, carrying its energy into its next collision.
In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul describes a chain reaction of a different sort, one that isn't a perpetual process of division and separation, but one of joining, restoring, and reconciling. As one is impacted by reconciliation, he goes forth reconciled himself, and proceeds to spread reconciliation to others, who in turn do the same to even more. We read in verse 18 that God, through Christ reconciled us to Himself. We were made holy, and in exchange Jesus was made sin. This one incomprehensible act was the first act in a chain of restoration following our rebellion. Verse 18 says that because we were reconciled, we are given the ministry of continuing the reconciliation reaction to those around us. This idea is so important Paul repeats himself in verse 19. "... God was reconciling the world to Himself ... and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation." This world-wide chain reaction started with God and will spread "to the uttermost parts of the earth."
Michael and the other elders have grabbed hold of the idea that reconciliation is the keyword for how Southside is to begin to see itself and to operate. Michael will be unwrapping this new idea over the coming weeks on Sunday mornings. We will be discovering together how reconciliation is at the heart of God, and how its effects touch upon not only our relationship with Him, but with others, and even with who we ourselves are re-created by God to be. However, this is not just the title of a sermon series, it is to become the guiding principle for our message and our methods. As we as a church focus on the specific ministries we are given, everyone of them, reconciliation, and all that it entails, whether to God, man, or with oneself, will be the backdrop for all that we are about. We believe that this emphasis will provide us with the Lord's heart and direction as His ambassadors of reconciliation, to further propagate what we have been entrusted with.