RECONCILIATION

In the New Testament a good deal is said about reconciliation, and usually with the thought of establishing unity between God and man. Webster thus defines the word reconcile: "To cause to be no longer at variance;" and besides other meanings, reconciliation is given as "removal of inconsistency." It is here interesting to note that, according to St. Paul, reconciliation begins on the divine side, whereas scholastic theology has taught that mortals must approach God in fear and trembling, uncertain whether they can ever attain to sonship. We, however, read in the fifth chapter of II Corinthians that "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself;" to which the apostle adds: "We pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." The great Teacher also admonished men to be reconciled to their fellow men where there was a sense of discord or division, and this as a preliminary to approaching God's altar with a gift. At this point Paul's words from the chapter already quoted throw much light upon this whole subject. He says: "All things are of God, who ... hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation." We must therefore deal with spiritual realities and know nothing "after the flesh."

It should not be forgotten that it sometimes seems difficult to reconcile certain passages of Scripture with other texts; for instance, this from Proverbs: "In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death;" then this from Paul: "I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and be with Christ; which is far better." Right here it may be well to ponder our revered Leader's statement: "Even Christ cannot reconcile Truth to error, for Truth and error are irreconcilable" (Science and Health, p. 19). This does not signify that either of these texts expresses error. On the contrary, as understood in Science, they both point to the same truth. Paul must have known that in the way of righteousness, the Christ-way, there is no death. Jesus had declared this in no uncertain terms, but it would seem that the apostle himself was uncertain as to whether he would most quickly reach the full spiritual consciousness of being by continuing his present labor for humanity, or by giving the proof of deathless Life in the way the Master had done. He was pressing on that he might prove "the power of his [Christ's] resurrection;" and yet with noble humility he acknowledged that he had not yet attained to this in its fulness. He tells his brethren, however, to "joy, and rejoice" with him if he were "offered upon the sacrifice and service" of their glorious faith in man's immortality.

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AMONG THE CHURCHES
December 21, 1912
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