Printer Friendly

Practicing reconciliation.

Exodus 12:1-14; Psalm 149; Romans 13:8-14; Matthew 18:15-20

Today's growing interest in mediation underscores the practical wisdom in Jesus' patient step-by-step approach to reconciliation and Paul's pedagogy on the golden rule. Within the faith community, Jesus shows a very human process of self-governance that attempts to avoid embarrassing people and searches for the gentlest way possible to rebuke the offender and reunite the parties. He also contrasts this approach with the spiritual grandstanders who would use their demonstrable "gifts" for authoritarian control of others. Jesus reminds them, and us, that when "two or more are gathered," he will be there. That's authority enough.

Paul broadens this seeking of justice to all neighbors, trusting that loving "your neighbor as yourself" remains viable. Litigation? Incarceration? "Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law" (Romans 13:10).

Utterly impractical? The festival of Passover in Exodus 12 (with its musical soundtrack in Psalm 149) gives a perpetual reminder of God's presence and functional power in the most wretched times and impossible situations. Remembering God delivering the people from servitude in Egypt, the festival offers a vision of worshiping as one and relating as a restored people "throughout your generations ..." (Exodus 12:14). Paul explores this seeking for justice, saying retribution bas become obsolete and dysfunctional (and certainly not of God) from the local to the international.

In many states prison populations have tripled or quadrupled in the last 25 years. It is time to try a new way, the way of reconciliation--which, honestly, is a very old way.
COPYRIGHT 2005 Sojourners
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2005, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:SEPTEMBER 4
Author:Roth, Robert
Publication:Sojourners
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2005
Words:264
Previous Article:Restorative justice.
Next Article:Forgiveness of debts.
Topics:


Related Articles
From Dr. Janice Campbell. (Letters to the Editor).
E-Prime, briefly: a lawyer's experiment with writing in E-Prime.
Information for authors.
Defense AT & L writer's guidelines in brief.
Forgiveness and reconciliation as applied to national and international conflicts.
Immunities and defenses for allegedly negligent inspections.
Forgiveness and reconciliation as applied to national and international conflicts.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters