SERMON TITLE: “Meditations on the Cross: The Reconciliation of God”
SERMON TEXT: 2 Corinthians 5:11 – 6:2
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: April 3, 2022, at First UMC
This week some indigenous leaders from Canada met with Pope Francis at the Vatican. Their meetings started on Monday and continued through Friday. The indigenous people hoped that their many conversations with the pope would lead to an official apology for the harm done to native children in the boarding schools that were managed by the Roman Catholic Church. “The former head of the National Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada” has estimated “that more than 6,000 children died or vanished over the decades that the schools were in operation.” That’s why the indigenous leaders of Canada reached out to Pope Francis and invited him “to join them in a journey for reconciliation.” Pope Francis gave them hope, when he responded to their invitation with the three English words: “truth, justice, and healing.”1 Then on Friday, Pope Francis spoke the actual words of apology that the indigenous people had wanted to hear. Acts of reparation and a papal visit and apology on Canadian soil are yet to come. But this week was a significant step toward reconciliation.2
Since the beginning of Lent, we’ve been focusing our worship services on various aspects and understandings of the cross. As we’ve meditated on the cross from different angles, we’ve asked ourselves, “Why is the cross so important to our Christian faith? And what exactly happened on the cross that makes our salvation possible?” As we’ve read from different biblical passages, we’ve heard a variety of answers. The weakness and foolishness of the cross became the power and wisdom of God. Jesus was lifted up on the cross as a sign of the love of God. Jesus died on the cross as the Lamb of God. And, last Sunday, we heard how Jesus gave himself on the cross as the Great High Priest of God.
Today, I invite you to continue this meditation on the cross with me. In his Second Letter to the Corinthians, let’s see how the Apostle Paul understands the cross as the reconciliation of God.