All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:18
Reconciliation has been defined as “the restoration of friendly relations.” It can be the process where two individuals or groups in a conflict agree to make amends or come to a truce. For Christians, reconciliation has been described as the end of the estrangement between God and humanity. Through Christ, there has been a change from a state of separation to a new relationship of harmony and fellowship. Numerous verses from scripture outline this reconciliation, including Romans 5:10, as Paul reminds us “while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of God’s son.”
This month, Moravians remember the spiritual “birthday” of the Moravian Church on August 13, 1727. During that time, many who had fled religious persecution in their homelands found refuge on the estate of Count Zinzendorf in Herrnhut, Germany. Yet, as the community grew, conflicts arose. There were many differences among the inhabitants. Zinzendorf intervened and emphasized the importance of Christian love within their community, and he encouraged residents to study the Bible and pray for one another.
A service of Holy Communion at the nearby Lutheran parish on August 13 resulted in a tremendous experience of spiritual renewal and reconciliation. In the days that followed, the Herrnhut community gained a sense of unity and purpose and was transformed into a movement for mission, sending missionaries throughout the world.
As we remember a significant date for our church this month, we give thanks to God, who brings “Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled.” Thanks be to God, now and always.
The Rev. John G. Rights