The season of Lent invites Christians into an unusually intentional stretch of self-examination and repentance; prayer, fasting, self-denial; reading and meditating on God’s holy Word; and making right beginnings. Beginning on Ash Wednesday with the sobering words said during the imposition of ashes on foreheads, “remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return,” we begin anew our journeys with God. Indeed, we are reminded that we are interconnected to “the other,” whomever the other may be, in the way that particles of dust cannot be separated.
Considering the fractured world in which we live, I am prayerfully reminded that we are called to the ministry of reconciliation. The mission of the Church–the body of Christ–is to restore all people to unity with God and each other. Thus, reconciliation is when persons make right or harmonize around a difference or situation that has caused hurt, conflict, or separation. It involves different parties coming to a good, healthy, and mutually agreeable position, and it always involves change. One person can forgive; it takes two to reconcile. Ultimately, it reflects the fulfillment of God’s dream. Much of my life work includes learning as much as possible about this common call, and I am glad that others share this passion to be explored together.
Reconciliation is bound to make humanity whole as equally beloved children of God. During my March 6–May 31 sabbatical, it is moving to know that both the Rector and Parish of St. Peter’s will delve deeper into the purpose and implications of reconciliation through prayer, worship, formation, conversation, fellowship, and service opportunities. With God’s help, faith, and courage, we are bound to create the beloved community and be changed to the glory of God.
God’s blessings as we pray and try,
The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector