“Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19, New American Standard Bible)
Reconciliation. It is the word our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters use for the rite commonly called “confession.” In the confessional, the penitent seeks reconciliation to fellowship with God by acknowledging his or her transgressions (sins).
As disciples of Jesus, we have been given by God both the work (ministry) of reconciliation in this world, and the word that reconciles to God. In recent years, much has been said about the “divided” state of our society on many fronts: Economic, social, political, theological. . . Indeed, our divisions are many and deep. Our work is cut-out for us, and it is as clear as it is compelling.
The key to reconciling these disparate and conflicting parties is the word of reconciliation to God. Jesus, the word of God in human form, has shown us the way to reconciliation: Love God will all our being and love our neighbor as we love ourselves. This path seeks fellowship with everyone. This path bridges divisions as it seeks peace. This path aspires to the reconciliation of all humanity to God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the [children] of God.” (Matthew 5:9) – Luther