Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Reconciliation and Redemption

The playground is where we get our first lessons in reconciliation
In tomorrow's Gospel reading Jesus says,
There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in a cloud' with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."
The imagery seems extreme with signs on heaven and earth that the end is near. But as James Kay wrote for Christian Century,
In fact, there are many places where biblically shaped imagination can already discern the end of our world: precious rain forests, the size of entire countries, gone forever in a few days; 50,000 bodies, many headless and limbless, float into Lake Victoria as Christians kill Christians in Rwanda; suburban kids in Reeboks and t-shirts methodically beat a teenager to death on the steps of St. Cecilia's Church in Abingdon, Pennsylvania (dead at 16 on the steps of the church where he had been an altar boy).

You see why we can't just skip over Luke 21. The text is a reminder that our world, even "Christian" world with 20 centuries behind it, is far from redeemed.
In this ongoing work of redemption, we have a part to play. The Catechism of the Episcopal Church spells this out in listing the ministry of all believers as
The ministry of lay persons is to represent Christ and his Church; to bear witness to him wherever they may be and, according to the gifts given them, to carry on Christ’s work of reconciliation in the world; and to take their place in the life, worship, and governance of the Church.
The ultimate redemption is God's business, but along the way, we have our parts to play in the day-to-day work of reconciliation. And if that seems too large a task to even begin, know that some big examples of reconciliation do happen, like that taking place in South Africa in the wake of Apartheid. But even small acts of reconciliation are to great effect. And while we can't redeem the world (that's Jesus' job), the ways in which we work for reconciliation with those with whom we come in contact do play into that larger act of redemption.

Our labyrinth is available for prayer this morning from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church


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