Prayer

Day 8: The Call to Reconciliation

23/01/2018 9:00 am

Starting Point

The formation of a united covenanted people is part of God’s intention towards a reconciled world. The historic legacies of colonialism have led to apologies which have transformed relationships for example between British and Jamaican Baptists. This serves as an illustration of how the Church in its unity is called, like Biblical Israel, to be both a sign and an active agent of reconciliation. The work of reconciliation therefore extends beyond the walls of the church and means that Christians are called to work for reconciliation in the world.

Reading

Isaiah 11.12-13 Ephraim shall not be jealous of Judah, and Judah shall not behostile towards Ephraim
Psalm 106.1-14, 43-48 Gather is to give thanks to your holy name
Ephesians 2.13-19 He has broken down the dividing wall
John 17.1-12 I have been glorified in them

Prayer

God of unity,
Trinity of the Three,
You call your people to be one
That the world may believe.
Grant us your Spirit
That we might act and speak with one voice
So that our world’s pains and divisions
May be transformed by healing, hope and reconciliation,
Our Lord’s prayer be answered,
And your name glorified and hallowed.
Amen.

Reflection

Past hurts rooted in slavery and dominance have left
a legacy of deep divisions among God’s children.
The lack of repentance for history and memories make us cling to hurts;
we let ourselves be defined by them.
And our embarrassment in having caused them
and the pride which will not let us admit it
ensure that hurts and divisions are perpetuated.
The Body of Christ remains broken;
we are pulled ever further from the reconciler of our faith
and the unity that is possible through His love.
The Spirit speaks
but are we listening?
Can we not hear?
Enough! Enough!

We can say sorry,
seek forgiveness,
forgive,
let go.

What should be rendered to God? Are we willing to surrender to God the hostility,
jealousy, bitterness and guilt that separates us from God’s reconciling grace and mercy?

Lord reveal to us our failings, that becoming aware of them and seeking your grace
and forgiveness, we may be united in a relationship of love where institutional
divisions fall away.

Then together we will move towards a spiritual reconciliation which unites in the
dance of the Triune God.

Questions

  1. What does the word ‘reconciliation’ evoke for you?
  2. How might the church make a difference, bringing reconciliation, in situations of conflict and division (both inter-personal and in society)?
  3. Does reconciliation between churches help to foster a wider reconciliation in the world?