16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:16-17
Day 3 - New Creation
Many missed seeing and understanding Jesus in his day as the Christ because they were not looking at the right things or in the right way. Seeing him in his weakness and humanity, they missed the glory of God that was present among them. This failure to see Jesus for who he was and is, was not simply a mistake for those who walked with him, but is the mistake of all who have at one time or another forsaken God's mercies and graces towards them.
The failure to see Jesus in the fullness of who he is, also reveals our tendency to view one another in the same way. We look to one another's frailties, mistakes, failures and limitations and make judgments that lead to separation, division, and condemnation. The failure of this limited perception is that in it we miss the nature of God's work in redemption to make all things new.
This new work of God is to bring life to that which was dead and to bring union once more between God and man. The old had gone, meaning the ways in which we related to God and one another, and a new thing had come that continues to unfold itself in the working out in the redemption of the Gospel. No longer are we to view one another in our discord, disunity and hostility, but in our union and belonging to Christ as he makes all who are in him new.
Just as we are to look and see God at work in Christ, we are to look to one another and see God at work in the lives of those who are in Christ. The eyes of new creation our now ours and invite us to look beyond our superficialities and see the hand of God.
The old way of seeing causes us to be deeply insecure and views others, even our Christian brothers and sisters as competitors. Often threatened by the success and wellbeing of others we feel the need to try to prove that our tradition or church as right and theirs wrong. But if we look through the eyes of new creation we become secure in who we are and our unique place in God’s purposes and no longer as competitors with other Christians. We are now free to redirect our energies from defending our own position to now affirming, supporting, and blessing others.
Ask God to lead you to a Christian brother or sister not part of your church tradition and find a way to bless them. It could be as simple as taking the time to listen to their faith story or ask them what they appreciate about their tradition. Consider attending a worship service or other special event with them, or sharing a meal together.
Father we ask that you would help us to become instruments of healing and reconciliation full of compassion, and comfort, never distant, never on the defensive, freed of all harshness, a clear reflection of the Risen Christ. Amen