2 Corinthians 5:19-20
“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.”
Outline of the Faith or Catechism
Q: What is the mission of the Church?
A: The mission of the Church is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ.
We are all called to the ministry of reconciliation. How’s that working for you? It is clear in both scripture and in the teaching of the Church that the work of reconciliation is core to both our corporate and personal lives.
Honestly, in my experience, real reconciliation is not easy work. In order for true reconciliation to take place, all parties must be willing to begin with a posture of deep self-examination. Where have I missed the mark of living fully into the person God is calling me to be, the person I committed to be in the Baptismal Covenant? Where does there need to be healing? Where do I need to live out my love of God, love of neighbor, love of self?
From this place comes the disciplined work of deep listening to the other’s story in order to open oneself to understand the experience and perspective of those who we are not fully in relationship with.
“So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.”
The season of Lent, with its invitation to “self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word,” (BCP Ash Wednesday liturgy) is a particularly good time for us to lean into the hard work of reconciliation. The fruit that it will bear will only make the new life and new hope of Easter that much more poignant.