Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving & The Ministry of Reconciliation

We have had the pleasure of hosting Thanksgiving dinner at our home for the last two years. We've got a decent amount of space, double ovens for all the grub, Xbox for the nephews... and I love to open my home to my loved ones. (My camera died before catching everyone.) I would be kidding myself though, if I thought I was the brains behind the outfit. When she's not too busy with her hair going up in flames, my mother is always always always serving, nurturing and loving. She's got the Thanksgiving thing down to an art. Here's the two of a double barrelled shot gun...twice the fun.

This Thanksgiving while being thankful for the dear ones around me, I was burdened and missing those loved ones not around me. This year I am most thankful and most convicted for what God's scripture calls:
~The Ministry of Reconciliation~
All things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Cor. 5:18-21
(You wouldn't know it by the looks of her...but food is a really serious issue to this here sister. None of us will ever forget the tragic year the white rolls were replaced with wheat. She won't let that happen again... )

The world (Hollywood) has portrayed it as the norm for family gatherings at holidays to be a torturous, dreaded occasion in which the old usual family dramas continue to play out and steal the focus and glory of the day--days that could and should be a blessing to all, and a glory unto God. Well maybe it is the norm in the world. We're all sinners, yep? And yet for those of us mentioned in the incredibly convicting scriptures above...we are sinners forgiven, and entrusted (committed) with a ministry specifically that of reconciliation. God, creator of the universe and us, didn't count our many trespasses against us, and reconciled us to Him by sacrificing His one beloved, sinless Son.

It makes sense for a World that will not even receive God's very gracious reconciliation, to not understand a ministry of reconciling to other human sinners. For we who say we understand it, well it makes no sense at all to eat our Turkey and ignore our calling to reconcile. We are... ambassadors?

Rec'on cile - 1. To cause to be friendly again; to bring back to harmony. 2. To adjust; settle; as, to reconcile differences. 3. To make consistent or congruous. 4. To bring to acquiescence or quiet submission; as, to reconcile oneself to afflictions. - SYNONYMS... Reunite; conciliate, propitiate; harmonize....
Rec'on.cil'i.a'tion - 1. Act of reconciling, or state of being reconciled. 2. Reduction to congruence; removal or explanation of inconsistency; harmony.

(Richie and Jimmy. Two of the three bestest brothers)
(Juliet inherited a few things from Gramma Carolann. Cute toes and a weakness for mustaches!)

Dear fellow ambassadors for Christ's Ministry of Reconciliation: Do we believe and understand these words of life? Are they piercing your heart now like they are mine? Did not Christ hold out to you His ultimate sacrifice in the midst of your sin? Did He not suffer shame, pain, humiliation and death that you might live and hold it out to others lost just to reconcile you to Him because He loves you?

God's Word says to "redeem the time...for the days are evil". If this were your last living day how would you redeem it?

Christ condemned empty tradition. For heavens sake, let's not suffer through our empty traditions for the sake of tradition. We are called to much more. We are called to The Ministry of Reconciliation.

...And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach--


indeed you coninue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven... Col. 1:21-23

Now go pick up the phone. You know who to call. I know who I'm calling.

Daddy's Happy Birthday~ We took Daddy....well...technically Daddy took us to the Old Spaghetti Factory for his birthday dinner.
Reading his cards from the kids

Make yourself at home Bub...

I love Hannah's look of utter devotion as Daddy reads his card.
Gemma whipped this card together at the last minute to illustrate her personal baking of Daddy's birthday cupcakes. The googley eyes add the perfect touch don't ya think?
Thanks to the Lambrusco, I was not too prideful by the end of the evening to take this humiliating picture of myself in the middle of the Spaghetti factory...
Yeah you family photographers know what I'm talking about. There's one in every family. We have to regularly repent of what I call picture pity.

Just keepin it real.


Smooch said...

So cute. And what a great message. I was tearing up a little because we only had our turkey day with our little family and I was jealous of your big gathering. But I also feel so blessed and thankful for my little family.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you don't get more comments on your blog. I love reading it when I get the time...oh, yeah, and when I am at someone's else's computer since I don't have one. Hmmm...maybe that explains it!
What a great time you must have had! I loved seeing those familiar, albiet OLDER faces,(although your mother and Tim don't look a day older than they did several years ago!) Hey, my husband would have fit right in with those older brothers of yours....shaved head, little bit of facial hair...Come to think of it, why weren't WE invited...hahahaha!!!
Call me if you get a moment...I never know if I am calling at a bad time, but I might try anyway!
Love ya girl!