I wish I understood the process of reconciliation better. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I find myself certain that if I just understood it better, I’d be ready, willing, and able to do it. This is a ridiculous assertion, of course, and I’m an idiot.

Tonight I was talking to Michael about what I see as the major problem of the faith community we’ve been part of, and still have plans to return to: over a decade ago, two churches merged, but what I see is not a new church, but three churches in one building: the original two congregations, and the third, comprised of the people who joined after the merger. I wasn’t here, but it seems to me that instead of combining into a new congregation, the original two simply divided up parts of the church, and have been living like roommates in a dorm room with a big wide piece of masking tape dividing the room.

The third congregation, the one that wasn’t part of either of the original two, is just a dumping of salt into the unhealed wounds. This is kind of the place we entered.

Michael says to me tonight, “I would tell you that I think God can heal these wounds . . .”


But he wouldn’t say that because he doesn’t see that in the case of Holy Trinity. . . so he’s not sure he sees it as possible elsewhere.

I don’t think that God magically creates reconciliation between people. I don’t think it happens without us doing the work.

Here’s where things get really fucked up. I suggested that we invite to our home a family who, as far as I can tell, can’t stand us. Michael bristled at this suggestion. I don’t blame him . . . I bristled at it, even as I said it. But where the fuck else are we going to start?

I can’t see going back there without some serious work of reconciliation, and if I can see what the problem is, it seems to me that the responsibility rests in my lap. I hate that. I hate the responsibility that comes with understanding the issue and framing it.

I’m sad and I’m mad and I don’t want the responsibility of fixing the fucking problem, or at least trying to fix it. I would say that I don’t even know that it’s fix-able, except that I agree with Michael that God could choose to work a miracle.

But I don’t think God’s going to do that without us doing the work.

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One Response to Reconciliation

  1. zachary says:

    hey man, I feel this particular tension as well, wanting very much to fix the problem, yet finding myself unable or powerless to do so, since reconciling so often involves other people’s cooperation, dang it.

    I looked up the Greek word for reconcile/reconcilation and found it( as usual when I bother to look things up) very intriguing.

    Jumping off of Romans 5:10
    For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life?

    reconciled here means: to change, exchange as coins for others of equivalent value; to reconcile those who are at variance, to return to favor with, to receive one into favor. A synonym is atonement.

    all that to say that it might be harder than it looks.

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