We’ve been talking this year in chapel about reconciliation. It’s a theme that I think all of us can relate to. I assume that all of us have people or individuals in our lives that we’ve distanced ourselves from. You know those people that somewhere along the way we chose to ignore. That person that made us so mad that we swore we would never speak to them again. That person that did us wrong and in doing so we promised we would make life miserable for them. It’s that individual that we just can’t stand. Maybe it’s a parent, a sibling, a spouse, or an old friend.
You see reconciliation isn’t easy. It’s hard work. It requires us to sometimes do things that we don’t want to do. It asks us to invite others into our lives, even at the risk of being hurt.
Do you remember the motto for Motel 6? “We’ll leave the light on for you.” I have a friend (Dr. Henry Spaulding) who describes forgiveness as the willingness on our part to leave the porch light on. You see there’s something inviting about a porch light being on. It brings a calm assurance that someone is waiting for you; waiting on you just like the father waited on the prodigal son, looking out the window hoping you’ll turn the corner up the drive. It’s that gentle invitation to come in.
In our home, Katie and I have a huge dining room table. One of the reasons that we have it is because we like to entertain. We believe that the best way to enjoy food and life is to enjoy it with as many people as possible. That means that when we have big groups in our home we try to get as many chairs around the table as possible. We want everyone to have a place at the table. We find ourselves constantly having to make room for more chairs and more people. You see there’s something wonderful that begins to happen when we make room around the table and share a meal together.
Jesus’ table is one that constantly invites us to come. It’s one that somehow continually makes room for all who come. It’s his table that offers us not just the spiritual nourishment that we need but the gift of reconciliation that we desire. It’s that gift that he’s given to us. The gift that Paul describes in 2 Corinthians 5:18 as “the ministry of reconciliation”. It’s the gift that allows us to make room at the table for others, even those who have hurt us before. It’s the ministry that leaves the porch light on for those that need forgiveness and reconciliation. It’s our opportunity to be a part of God’s great message, “the message of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19).