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  • Parables of Reconciliation
    Reconciliation is God’s gift to the world which is seen at its clearest at the resurrection.  My Easter message will develop this.  This month, we reflect on parables of reconciliation and the church’s calling to be such a parable.
  • Dehumanising the Other
    Relating to otherness is crucial in the journey towards reconciliation: without a willingness to acknowledge and relate to the ‘other’ (person, idea, concept, way of believing) there can be no reconciliation.  This extract reflects on how one can reject the ‘other’ by rejecting the other’s right to be recognized as a human being.  In a similar way, the other’s way of thinking and believing can be rejected by regarding it as inferior.
  • Excluding the Other
    The present conflicts in Syria, Egypt, Sudan and the Central African Republic arise from complex backgrounds but they all display a rejection of the ‘other’ who thinks, prays, looks or acts differently.  This extract from ‘Reconciling One and All – God’s Gift to the World’ examines this tendency to reject and exclude which can have catastrophic results.
  • Difference: Friend or enemy?
    There are a number of ways of embracing the other, but the one which appears to be prevalent in society is dichotomy or opposition which brings with it a deep suspicion of the other.  Perhaps embracing the other through dichotomy is best illustrated through the adversarial system of British politics. 
  • Embracing the Other

    Being able to relate to the other (that which, or the person who,  is totally different from us) is vitally important for reconciliation.  Yet, as I indicated last month, too often the other is excluded, dehumanized and demonized.  For there to be reconciliation the other needs to be heard and embraced, even if we do not agree with it.  What does it mean to embrace the other?

  • Other yet Intimate: God’s Unique Relationship
    Embracing the other is important for our political and social well-being as well as for our spiritual health.  Yet too often the other is excluded, dehumanized and demonized. This attitude lies behind so much of the fearfulness encountered in contemporary society, whether it is fear of other ideas, other cultures and faiths and even fear of what lies deep within ourselves. 
  • Reaching out to the ‘Other’
    Reconciliation is not possible unless there is an embracing of the ‘other’ -  the other person, the other idea, the otherness of ourselves, the otherness of God.  The other is the one outside of ourselves. The fact that human beings can stretch beyond themselves in this way differentiates them from animals.
  • The Church: Community of Forgiven-ness
    The Church is a community which is both forgiven and in the process of being forgiven and it is called to reflect this reality to the world.  In a society which permits everything but forgives nothing, the Church has a particularly daunting task to combat the fear which comes from not recognising one’s forgiven-ness. 
  • Being Sorry: Is remorse necessary for forgiveness?
    Is forgiveness dependent upon our being sorry and showing remorse?  When we do say sorry, is it primarily for the sake of the person we have wronged or is it for our sake?
  • From a Lost Son to a Dying Daughter: The Challenge and Power of Forgiveness
    The father in one of the most famous stories in the New Testament and the father in Northern Ireland whose daughter died, buried beneath rubble and holding her father’s hand, are challenging and harrowing examples of forgiveness leading to reconciliation.