Lent is the primary season in our Church Year where we focus on reconciliation with God and with one another. The Latin conciliatus means to bring together, to unite. So to reconcile means that we are coming together, being united again.
In terms of my relationship with the divine, coming-together-again makes intuitive sense to me. I believe we were all created by God and “woven in the depths of the earth” as Psalm 139 puts it. And yet though I was made by the Creator, I find myself separated from God, from the very source of my being. So again and again God calls me or pulls me back to God’s self. This journey doesn’t end: it is the spiritual walk.
Reconciliation also makes sense regarding my relationships with other human beings, each bearing God’s image even as we walk around with ‘feet of clay’ (an image from the second chapter of Daniel). On an inter-personal level, I go through periods of intimacy and distance with the ones I love the most. The season of Lent invites me to examine these relationships, identify barriers that have gotten in the way, and make amends.
But reconciliation is far more than an individualistic notion: it’s not only about “me and Jesus” or “me and my relationships.” Most “hope-fully,” there is a cosmic dimension: Through Jesus, God draws the world into God’s very heart. And there is a social dimension that contributes to this cosmic process. What does it mean as a community to “come-together-again,” to be reconciled, across racial and socio-economic lines, right here, right now? We are blessed at St. Peter’s to be able to explore that over and over again, each time perhaps coming a bit closer to God’s dream of a reconciled humanity. Thanks for being on the journey.
– The Reverend Joslyn Ogden Schaefer, Associate Rector