14For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. 15And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them.
16From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. 17So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; 19that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 20So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
II Corinthians 5
If you’ve been around Park Church, you’ve heard the passage above (from today’s daily reading) a number of times over the years. Today’s reading is one of the most important passages in the way that we think about ourselves, the world around, and most importantly, what God has done for us in Christ. It seems pretty central to Paul’s thinking too, as it sums up so much of what he’s said across all of his letters.
If you want to get our M.O., read it again up top.
He talks about how Christ’s death was for all people, and that means that we should be for all people. He talks about how we see others with different eyes now because of Christ. He says amazing things about what God is doing in us by his Spirit as we are “in Christ” (new creation!), and that means that he is redeeming us and nothing in us is not redeemable. He talks about how the world has been reconciled to God in Christ, and that means that our relationship with God has been healed and so we should live like that. He says that God has made us his ambassadors in the world, and that means that our purpose is to share this good news with the world. He talks about how Christ took on all of our sin, all of our everything, and died in our place so that we don’t have to. He talks about all of that and so much more. If you’ve been around, you’ve heard this at Park. We hope you have, and just so you know, you’re going to keep hearing it.
But I want to point out something that is the driver behind everything we do. It’s why this community started reaching out to high school kids in the park all those years ago. It’s why this community matters in reaching the world around us. It’s why – regardless of the ups and downs – we are excited to serve with you in God’s mission.
It’s because “the love of Christ urges us on”.
That’s the starting point for all of it. The love of Christ. That’s the motivation.
Christ’s love for us that saved us and saves us still. Christ’s love that causes us to live in gratitude. Christ’s love that ought to fill our cup so full to overflowing that we can’t help but spill his love in every relationship we’re in. Christ’s love for the world around us that sends us out.