18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and
has given us the ministry of reconciliation; 19that is, in Christ God was
reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against
them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 20So we are
ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we
entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled... -
2 Corinthians 5:18-20
A few weeks ago (back at the beginning of this month) my article began with the confession that I had made a mistake (about our designa-tion as a “Reconciling vs. reconcil-ed In Christ” congregation). After which I went on to
talk about how - even as we celebrated TEN YEARS of being a welcoming/advocating/supporting church with people of the 2SLGBTQ+ community - there was still plenty of work to be done.
Here as the calendar page turns again.. I need to remind you that this has also been a month of remembering & recommitting ourselves to the work of reconciliation with the Indigenous siblings we share this country/world with. For not only does June often hold Pride Week but so too it is “National Indigenous History Month” & holds “Indigenous Peoples Day” (June 21). And though we did not do much to congrega-tionally draw attention to that this year, we are to ALSO be committed to this work too (as an ELCIC & a “Reconciling In Christ” congregation). That emphasized openness is also included in our “Welcome Statement” each week. And as a national ELCIC church we have committed our churches to be actively involved in whatever stretching/transformation of our hearts & minds our country’s commitment to that “Reconciling” struggle will call out of us.
The greater truth always being, of course, that the call of God.. the challenge of the Gospel.. begins with and ends with the demand that we “love one another” with exactly the same kind of colour blindness & the same transcending of every prejudice with which Jesus loves us. In the same way that each of us relishes & abides in the grace and care of God.. just so we are to be God’s people/community where all people can feel precisely that kind of dignity, support, welcome and space to live their full personhood – irrespective of race, gender identity, or any other false designation that might try to create an “us vs them” among us.
As Canadians our relationship with our Indigenous siblings is complicated by far too many years of mutual distrust, prejudice and sometimes out-right oppression. In this case, these are wounds that simply “letting time pass” WILL NOT heal. It will call out of us all, both an incredible humility and an intentional commitment to compassion and learning. And here too.. the end of that work for “reconciliation” is no where near over.
My challenge for you this week.. as you make ready to head out there for vacation time and RE-creation time.. is to intentionally make some room in your plans/summer to expose yourself to some of the indigenous history that makes Saskatchewan the province it is – the good stories AND the bad. Maybe add a book about indigenous life in Canada to your reading list. If nothing else, take a few minutes to look into your own heart – to see the ways systemic racism has infected us all.. to face the blindspots we all have.. and then consider what it will take to move you from where you are today, to where you want to be.
For now.. I continue to invite you to “Be well.. Be safe.. BE HOPE”. And indeed to BE HOPE is to commit ourselves every day to what ever love, compassion and reconciliation life calls us to!
- Pastor Stewart June 30/22