TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Colossians 1:19-20

It is hard to imagine all the carnage that took place as a result of the Civil War. It is also hard to imagine a name more closely associated with the Confederates than Jefferson Davis, or an individual more closely linked to the Union than Ulysses S. Grant. General Grant died in 1885, and Jefferson Davis passed away in 1889. What happened next was surprising.

Varina Davis and Julia Grant, the widows of these two men, became friends. They would meet in New York, eat lunch, and even go on vacation together. Both women were concerned with reconciling the two parts of the country, and they knew their example of friendship could go a long way toward accomplishing it. Peace after the separation of war––it was amazing to behold.

In Colossians, Paul is writing to a church that is dealing with its own issues, and he begins by reminding them of whom they serve. Dealing with issues in the church always begins by renewing our focus on Christ. He reminds them that all the fullness of God dwells in Christ, and through the cross, Christ makes peace between a holy God and sinful human beings. If Christ can make this peace possible, then He can also make peace possible between Christians.
By describing this peace, Paul provides a beautiful picture of atonement. Because God was separated from His creation by sin, He sent His Son. Though Jesus was a human being, all the fullness of God dwelt in Him. His sacrifice on the cross was powerful enough to reconcile all things unto Him. Peace after the separation of sin––that is atonement. And it is amazing to behold.

Today, I will…read Colossians 1 to remind myself of the blessings of Christ and say a prayer of thanksgiving for this incredible gift of atonement.