Reconciliation… what a great word, I wonder if it would show up on a GRE exam? Oxford defines it as “the restoration of friendly relations.”
The unspoken truth behind this word is that something had been broken. Reconciliation is a beautiful ending for a tumultuous story. In fact, it IS the ultimate ending for one of (actually most of) Shakespeare’s tragedies. For example, the Capulet and the Montague families finally reconcile in the end of “Romeo & Juliet.” (It’s been 420 years, I hope I didn’t need to say SPOILER ALERT!)
The beauty of forgiveness is that, when genuinely offered and accepted, forgiveness restores what had been broken. Reconciliation isn’t simply “forgive and forget;” it is an almost tangible sense that two pieces have been reunited and are stronger for it.
I once learned in a theatre shop class that if you break two pieces of steel then weld them back together, the actual seam of the weld is structurally stronger than the original piece itself. I don’t know enough about the structural integrity of steel to know if this is factually accurate – but I DO know that when it comes to my own life experience, my strongest friendships are those that have been tested. I have both wronged and been wronged by my dearest friends. We always emerge from the moment of tension in a much better place.
To forgive, really forgive; means to let go of that part of yourself that insists on “being right.” It means to put yourself into another’s shoes and consider things from their perspective. Once you have done that, reconciliation will follow.
Friends and members of our Christ Church family have prepared these daily reflections as a means for you to consider how forgiveness informs your faith walk during this holy season. They are a richly diverse group from many different geographies around our nation and globe, formed by a wide variety of traditions.