Reflection from the Moderator - National Reconciliation Week 2024

29 May 2024

Reflection from the Moderator - National Reconciliation Week 2024 Image

Amos 5 says: “Let justice roll down like streams of living water…” Reconciliation is about justice. It is about righting the wrongs of the past. Paul writes very clearly about reconciliation and speaks of justice as being at the heart of the work of Jesus who reconciled the world to himself. For Paul, reconciliation is embedded in the Gospel context – “through him to reconcile all things to himself, making peace through the blood of his cross through him, whether things on the earth or things in heaven”. (Col 1:20)

Biblical reconciliation is actually a whole new way of thinking, I would argue that it flips everything!  We are not the hero of the story, it is about the last being first and the first being last!  As Christians it is important for us to understand that the call to be involved in reconciliation is not optional.  When we became reconciled to God, we have a non-negotiable responsibility as God has brought us to be co-workers with him in the ministry of reconciliation.

The Gospel narrative is about God giving up power through making himself known in an earthly presence as a little baby - a story that has literally changed the world. It has spoken across cultures for thousands of years. Christians are the stewards of the story that Jesus died on the cross on our behalf to reconcile us to God.

This year’s National Reconciliation Week theme is ‘Now more than ever’. Indeed, now more than ever, is a time for us to recommit to living in Covenant as we mark 30 years of our commitment and relationship to walk together as First and Second Peoples.  The Uniting Church is committed to truth-telling about our shared history, acknowledging the trauma and grief that endures as a result of deeply unjust, policies such as the forced removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their culture and communities. In the wake of the majority 'No' result of the Voice to Parliament referendum last year, we continue to bear witness to the feelings of grief, rejection, exhaustion and disappointment experienced by many First Nations people.

Psalm 118:24 states, 'This is the day that the Lord has made.' Let us not only 'rejoice and be glad in it’, but work to ensure that Australia's First Peoples too can rejoice in living lives free from injustice and discrimination.  It is our responsibility to all deeply listen and take action together to see the healing and flourishing of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Reconciliation is the beginning of a new journey. It is a journey embedded in faith and in justice, in good will and in love. May we continue to all walk together as First and Second Peoples as a “pilgrim people, always on the way towards a promised goal; on the way Christ feeds the Church with Word and Sacraments and it has the gift of the Spirit in order that it may not lose the way” (Basis of Union #3).
May we continue together on the road to justice and healing.

Rev Bruce Moore - Moderator

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