“For God was pleased for all fullness to reside in him, and through him to reconcile all things to himself…” — Colossians 19-20a (USC)
Indigenous peoples of the world have an inherent commonality. Inevitably they have had their homelands pulled from under them, and our collective histories rarely do justice to the actual, and often abhorrent, facts that besmirch the memory of many of our forebears.
There are still so many peoples the world over, who silently decry – as loud as they are able – these rampant injustices as they continue to unfold in this generation. Yet, it is in this generation that we may start, or tenaciously continue, the work of God in reconciling all things under Jesus Christ.
When we have seen localities and regions and the entire landmasses engage in that spirit of interracial co-operation we have known God’s hand has been intrinsically part of it.
Where people of power within the culture’s stronghold can go to the ‘weaker’ party (usually the indigenous) and seek, through de-powering the interactive dynamic, a common way forward – which is a new approach; new to both parties – that is when we can rightly know that Christ is reconciling all things unto himself alone.
This is when we know God is reconciling things to himself: when power is shared, cooperation is apparent, common needs are magnified, and peace is manifest.
We wonder why we have not yet seen God at work in the reconciliation process; possibly the Spirit is disturbed, having been long ago quenched. The Spirit of God is significantly more patient than we can ever imagine. He will allow us to exact our injustices, for he alone will have the final say at the Judgment.
But the very cause of reconciliation depends on two parties; one or both to initiate, and one or both to respond. If there is commonality of being, reconciliation has hope, for commonality of being is precisely the pretext where all things are being reconciled under Jesus Christ.
And what are our motives?
The most basic one is judgment; we will be called to account regarding how we used our time, resources, and gifts. But a less obvious motive is the blessing of having experienced the movement of God’s Spirit in the midst of our own lives because we had the courage to honour the truth: our indigenous deserve their justice. And they alone are the ones who can help define it.
So there is our opportunity. What courage will we ply to our day – this day; for we have no other – in starting or continuing the process for reconciliation?
The heart of tolerant hospitality sees the need for a commonality of justice. Reconciliation is God’s will in all corners of life, for the Father has decreed Jesus reconciles all things under himself. The heart of tolerant hospitality gets on with the Kingdom mandate. And no apology need be made for it.
Steve Wickham is a Baptist pastor, from Perth, Australia, who holds Degrees in Science, Divinity, and Counseling. He uses his heart for pastoral ministry within the local Body of Como Baptist Church, as Associate Pastor, and through his three blogs, Epitome, ex-ceed, and TRIBEWORK.
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