Jesus said, in John’s Gospel: “I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one”. There is a slight ambiguity about the word ‘all’ but generally people believe Jesus is referring to Christians. Given that even this is not easy, for me it is still limiting. I believe that Christianity has the challenge to bringtogether, in reconciliation, all people. A much harder ask! But one, I think, is at the heart at what I see as the Christian message. In times gone passed, it has been interpreted to mean go out and convert people, especially from far away countries, to believe what we believe. I find this most unacceptable.
I understand reconciliation as bringing people together even, and perhaps especially, with their differences. Not to become one block; but as one, even if apart.
Some politicians, as we have seen in recent days, prefer to divide people, one group against another. And there are many reasons why people often stand apart from one another. However for Christians that is not good enough – our role is to show the world another way. I have deeply held political opinions but I still see the need, no necessity, to bring people together and reconcile them. Our churches welcome all; especially those it finds hard to get along with. It is not about making others do what we do but rather for the sake of humanity to hold the world together so all can flourish whoever they are, whatever they believe and whatever stage they are on their life’s journey.
As we remember those who fought in conflicts; let us remember all people, so called friends and so called enemies – as people created by God to live together and make God’s Reign a reality here on earth.