First Word – Peace and Pieces

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Greetings, BA readers! It’s an exciting new year, and we have an exciting new theme to go with it. Following our Great Commission focus last year, 2020 is dedicated to what the apostle Paul called the “ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:14-21). We have all year to explore this profound and demanding text, but here’s the heart of it:

Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation . . . God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation (vv. 18, 19). 

This message makes us “ambassadors for Christ.” On His behalf we implore a shattered and dying world “be reconciled to God” (v. 20). What a responsibility. Do we understand it, and are we up for it?

We see the need all around us. Everywhere! Sin breaks us into pieces, beginning with our relationship with our heavenly Father. But in Christ, God has made peace. This means that we can be put back together again. This isn’t just a message we share with others; it’s a life we model as new creations in Christ. If we are at peace with God in Him, we can be reconciled to one another and not fall to pieces. 

We introduce other exciting new features in this issue, starting with the beautiful photography gracing our covers this year. A big thank you to Wendy Gedack, wife of Pastor Troy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, for sharing her talent and seasonal photos with us. Her art captures, frame by frame, the peace of God and His design for the full reconciliation of creation that we all anticipate.

We’re also excited about two other items introduced in this issue that we hope will cultivate a new generation of BA readers and writers. You big people, put a little one on your lap and enjoy the “Kids Time” page together (pp. 16-17). And spread the word about the LeRoy Dais Young Writers Challenge taking place in early 2020. We’re accepting submissions now and will announce winners in four categories in the November-December issue. Encourage your young people to participate (see p. 10 for details).

Jesus is at work in His church, and there’s so much to be excited about. Peace!

— Jason Overman

Read the Jan-Feb BA here

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Jason Overman is Editor of Publications of the Bible Advocate Press. After 24 years in the publishing industry (in sales and management) with the Harrison Daily Times, Jason left his general manager’s position to join the BAP family in 2015. He has served in ministry for 30 years and currently pastors the Church of God (Seventh Day) in Jasper, Arkansas, with his wife, Stephanie, and two children, Tabitha and Isaac. Jason enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, reading theology, playing his guitar, and taking in the beautiful Ozark Mountains he calls home.