Here and Now: Reconciliation

November 6th, 2019

When our life in the present moment brings us to the point of seeing that everything belongs, it also reveals that God has given us a ministry — the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18). From that moment on, we know why we are on the earth.

We are called to the ministry of reconciliation because even though there is a pervasive inclusion inherent in creation, not everything fits together as it should or as it is meant to be. There is work to be done.

Living here-and-now cleans the lens, enabling us to see the purpose of God [1]. That purpose, in the words of St. Paul, is to remove “the dividing wall” between us and to bring together “one new humanity” (Ephesians 2:14-16).

Present-moment living puts us on the lookout for places where reconciliation is needed, and when we see these places, we should consider that God has given us the insight as an invitation to become involved somehow as a minister of reconciliation. This does not mean trying to be all over the map and involved in every good effort [2]. That futile attempt will only wear us out, overwhelm us, and sow seeds of despair.

But it does mean cultivating a general disposition toward reconciliation (through an incorporation of things like the fruit of the Spirit and the prayer of St. Francis), and then finding selective and focused ways to practice it.

Tending our little plot of ground connects with everyone else who is doing the same thing all over the earth. And in this way, the whole world is under the influence of reconciliation. We have been singing about this since we were children,

“Clean up, clean up,
Everybody, everywhere.
Clean up, clean up,
Everybody do their share.”

[1] Richard Rohr, Everything Belongs (Crossroad, 1999).

[2] In practicing discernment about this, we include the fact that God is not calling us to be involved everywhere we see the need for reconciliation. Thomas R. Kelly wrote helpfully about this in his book, A Testament of Devotion (Harper & Row, 1941), in the section entitled "The Eternal Now and Social Concern."

Steve Harper is the author of For the Sake of the Bride and Five Marks of a Methodist. He blogs at Oboedire.

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