Psalm 72:1-4 – Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king's son. May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice. May the mountains yield prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness. May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor. (NRSV)
Today I am doing final preparations to speak with the people of Mbare Presbyterian Church tomorrow. I've been told this is an exuberant congregation who do not speak English but know the language of the Spirit. As a guest in this country of contrasts, what have I to say? Maybe we need to seek signs of reconciliation.
Are there signs of reconciliation in Zimbabwe after your long history of struggle and your search for peace after twenty years of majority rule? Are there signs of reconciliation in the world? Northern Ireland put aside a generation of bitterness to seek peace and reconciliation. In Salvador, Brazil those who had been divided by centuries and a great ocean were made one through the gift of reconciliation. In my church – the Presbyterian Church in Canada – we have begun what is called a Journey to Wholeness which, by the grace of God, will lead to reconciliation and a new peace and renewed hope through Jesus Christ our Lord between the white population and the Native Community. We have a century and more of distrust to overcome and we have the hatreds and the hurts which need to be transformed into healing and wholeness but by the grace of God, it can, and will, be done. Maya Angelou once wrote: "History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but faced with courage, need not be lived again." In Jesus Christ we not only greet a new day but we live a new life in his love.
Prayer: Forgiving God, make me a channel of your peace: it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, in giving to all that we receive, and in dying that we are born to eternal life. O Spirit, grant that I may never seek so much to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love with all my soul. In the name of him who is our reconciliation. Amen.