May 27th to June 3rd is National Reconciliation Week. What do you think of when you hear the word “Reconciliation”?
Some see it as the process of making two people or groups of people friendly again after they have argued seriously or fought and been kept apart from each other for some time.
Others see reconciliation as the process or action of making two opposite beliefs, ideas, or situations agree with each other.
National Reconciliation Week, which started as the Week of Prayer for Reconciliation in 1993, supported by Australia’s major faith communities, has been established as a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements; and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation within Australia. These dates commemorate the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision as significant milestones in Australia’s reconciliation journey.
So, what role can we play as members of the church within this reconciliation journey? Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5, that since we are reconciled to God through Christ, he has given us the ministry of reconciliation. For in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. So, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us, calling all on behalf of Christ to be reconciled to God. Therefore, God is in the business of reconciliation and he calls us to be involved in sharing this with everyone.
Reconciliation is not a once off event but an ongoing journey of learning from each other the truth of the past and working together to forgive and put things right. This involves careful listening, sharing of pain and suffering, and receiving healing through the grace of Christ by the Holy Spirit. Reconciliation is more than a word, it takes action!