Reflections by Joseph Ostrander

Brandon Silva brought us a passionate message about renewal on Sunday.  Being somewhat of a wordsmith, I made this curious observation about how many English words beginning with the letters “Re” express God’s active work in and through His saints.  Humor me as we traipse through the dictionary and thesaurus in search of such “Re” words as a ‘reminder’ of what God is doing in and through us…

Renewal: Regeneration, Restitution, Rekindling, Revitalization, Rejuvenation, Regeneration, Rebirth, Replenishment, Restoration, Renovation, Reconstruction, Re-creation, Refreshment, Rebuilding, Refurbishment, Reestablishment, Reinstatement, Reworking, Rewiring, Reawakening, Reviving, and Recovery…

I’m sure there are more words you could add to this list.  Such exercises can be a fun ‘review’ of the process of transformation that is a divinely motivated tangible working (ongoing) in and through us.

But the most amazing thing about this process of transformation is this: God invites us to cooperate with His process of renewal in us, and simultaneously to the world around us (the scope of our Good Samaritan neighborhood).  We get to fulfill the good works prepared in advance for us to do, because we are God’s handiwork (Eph 2:10 and Phil 2:13)!  God sets to work as the Expert Craftsman doing all those “Re” definitions in us so we can share in the kingdom expression of good deeds that brighten the day for others and brings glory to the Father (Matt 5:16).  Part of the good news is the fact that such opportunities are always open to us regardless of how we perceive the level of renewal going on within us; we are never disqualified from participating in any good work even if we don’t feel worthy.

At the core of all renewal within us is the key “Re” paradigm: Relationship.  God is extremely excited about restored relationship and the deepening familiarity He continually invites all of us to engage in.  In fact, Paul the Apostle was so excited about the good news of restored relationship that he expressed such a divine privilege this way:

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.  ~2Corinthians 5:17-21

Think about it…