I have been thinking a lot about reconciliation lately. There are a lot of reasons for my fixation upon this topic in the last few weeks. One reason is because I am currently in a class at Saint Paul that is comparing Christianity to the practices of our Native brothers and sisters. We are learning what we did not learn in our textbooks as young people. The native people were colonized and shown God’s “love” in some horrific ways. We are talking about what role we play in still continuing a cycle of sin by ignoring certain points of order in the Book of Discipline that connect us with Indian Missionary Conferences. We are talking about it. What do we have to be sorry for? What can we do about it.
Another reason reconciliation has been on my mind of late is because of a transition that is coming soon in my life. I will be going to serve somewhere else after I graduate. As I prepare to leave my current appointment, I still see so much hurt and pain in the congregation. I see many places where people simply need to apologize to one another. This is why each week during the Lenten Season I have offered a time of healing and prayer for everyone gathered together. It has been eye opening to see people forgive one another.
As a person that works with young people, I implore you to ask what sorts of things come to mind when you ask that young person about forgiveness. What biblical images come to mind when we talk about God’s healing love? What did Jesus say about forgiveness? Who might they need to forgive? Have these conversations. Reconciliation is not easy but it will happen. Thanks be to God. Amen.
By Emily Carroll
youTheology Mentor Coordinator
Loving God, Loving Neighbor