I like firsts.
My first bicycle, my first ice cream cone, my first family vacation, my first crush, my first sleepover, my first bus ride to school, my first boyfriend, my first heartbreak, my first car, my first kiss, my first night in college, my first love, my first Carolina game, my first job, my first Young Life weekend, my first Dave Matthews Band concert, my first house, my first G.I.G. bible study, my first trip to the D.R., my first 800-mile move, my first seminary class, my first Red Sox game at Fenway.
I really like the first time I meet someone. First impressions. Who notices who first. Who says hello first. Who initiates the fun first conversation. Hundreds of memories later, it doesn’t seem to matter; I love that someone.
Which brings me to wonder, what if I were the first person to love someone?
Would it be a good model?
Would they be able to know what love compels?
Service? Encouragement? Sacrifice? Forgiveness? Reconciliation?
Ouch. That last one is a toughie.
What if you and I had an argument, or I betrayed you, or you sinned against me? You know, all of the relationship stuff that pushes us into places that are uncomfortable spiritually – because we know the good we ought to do, but don’t do it.
What if we were the teachers of the first ever reconciliation?
Would others know how to reconcile – and live reconciled (to one another and to God) – by our example? What does that look like?
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor. 5)
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13)