According to 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, we the children of God are His ambassadors of reconciliation. Reconciliation to God through Jesus Christ is fundamental to all genuine reconciliation. It is provided exclusively through the redemptive atonement from the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is the glorious Gospel which effects reconciliation between God and the individual who believes the Gospel, repents of sin, and receives Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Once an individual is reconciled to God, it is axiomatic that the vertically reconciled believer will desire horizontal reconciliation among other peoples. The ministry of reconciliation in horizontal relationships extends to any barrier erected due to the sinful fall of humanity: race, gender, age, social, geographic, etc.
To be sure, effective horizontal reconciliation derives from a genuine vertical reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ. However, genuine vertical reconciliation produces a desire to effect horizontal reconciliation. This is the ministry of reconciliation.
Southern Baptists celebrate the ministry of reconciliation during the month of February. February 11 is Race Relations Sunday, and February 12-18 is Focus on WMU. Woman’s Missionary Union has rallied Southern Baptists to support Biblical reconciliation through worldwide missions since 1888.
Ohio Southern Baptists are making significant contributions in both vertical and horizontal reconciliation. As a result of the experience of personal reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ, reconciled believers form communities of reconciliation to transform the larger communities in which they live.
Mission Ohio is the attempt of Southern Baptists to lead one million individuals to experience personal reconciliation by the end of 2020. These one-million believers can have a dramatic, positive influence upon Ohio as ambassadors and ministers of reconciliation. Let us press toward this mark.