Occasionally, I am asked this question and in every situation, my answer has been a resounding, “Yes!” Reconciliation is changing—for the better—a relationship between two or more persons. It lives at the center of Christianity and yet remains one of the hardest things that we might do. Jesus Christ came to address the reality that human relationships with God were broken, and undeniably were broken among humans of all sorts and conditions. One of my heroes, The Reverend Father Henri Nouwen, offered a magnificent meditation on reconciliation. May we find encouragement from his words as we strive to be bold followers of Jesus.
“How do we work for reconciliation? First and foremost by claiming for ourselves that God through Christ has reconciled us to God. It is not enough to believe this with our heads. We have to let the truth of this reconciliation permeate every part of our beings. As long as we are not fully and thoroughly convinced that we have been reconciled with God, that we are forgiven, that we have received new hearts, new spirits, new eyes to see, and new ears to hear, we continue to create divisions among people because we expect from them a healing power they do not possess. Only when we fully trust that we belong to God and can find in our relationship with God all that we need for our minds, hearts, and souls, can we be truly free in this world and be ministers of reconciliation. This is not easy; we readily fall back into self-doubt and self-rejection. We need to be constantly reminded through God’s Word, the sacraments, and the love of our neighbors that we are indeed reconciled.”
God’s blessings and peace to your journey,
–The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector