If you google the word atonement, the first item that comes up is a reference to a recent movie with that name. I happen to have seen the movie (and read the good book by Ian McEwan). It’s about a young girl who accuses her sister’s boyfriend of a crime he did not commit. She doesn’t realize the huge implications this will have in his life, and the breach it will cause between her and her sister. Later when the young girl is more mature, she tries to make up for the wrong she did. She wants to find reconciliation, she wants to be one with her sister again.
Atonement is a good word to describe that story. The word atonement means “to be at one”. It’s a word that was actually coined by a theologian to describe the work that Jesus did. Atonement is the work that makes human beings one with God again…it involves forgiveness, reconciliation, healing, saving!
Atonement is a pretty fancy word, that you might not have used yourself, but this week we are going to look at the idea behind it. How did Jesus make us one with God…how did Jesus accomplish that? Christians have been talking about this for a long time! We may agree on the answer (that Jesus saves us!), but we don’t always agree on the explanation. How would you define atonement, and what does it mean in your life?
This week’s prayer: Praise the One who breaks the darkness with a liberating light,
praise the One who frees the prisoner, turning blindness into sight.
Praise the One who preached the gospel, healing every dread disease,
calming storms and feeding thousands with the very bread of peace.
Praise the One true love incarnate; Christ who suffered in our place;
Jesus died and rose for many that we may know God by grace.
Let us sing for joy and gladness, seeing what our God has done.
praise the one redeeming glory; praise the One who makes us one. Sing the Story #1.