At least in the circles I’ve been around, the term “reconciling” in regards to churches and congregations seemingly refers to a church who wants to be openly welcoming gays and reconciling the faith community with the gay community.
While important, I feel that’s too narrow of a vision. We shouldn’t limit the term “reconciling congregation” to refer to a church reconciling with just the gay community but a “Reconciling Church” should work for reconciliation with the Community. Unfortunately, gay people are not the only ones who have been mistreated by the Church. There is a long line of people that we, the church, need to seek forgiveness from.
John Perkins wrote, “The only purpose of the gospel is to reconcile people to God and to each other.”
And today is a reminder of the ultimate act of compassion and reconciliation.
Without the pain Christ suffered on behalf of the sins of humanity, there would still be a chasm between human and God.
Through Christ’s sacrifice, we were reconciled with God.
And as Christ followers, we should be in the business of reconciling people, as Perkins said, to God and to one another.
That takes sacrifice. And compassion. Things that Christ was no stranger to.
We need the compassion that Christ had–compassion that stands in awe of what [the poor, the gays, the broken, the widows, the orphans, the undocumented, the liberals, the fundamentalists, the _______] have to carry rather than standing in judgment of how they carry it. (Greg Boyle)
Compassion and sacrifice were on display as Christ reconciled us with God.
That same Compassion and sacrifice are needed for us to take the first step in being a reconciling Church with the Community.