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September 30 is National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. We honour children who never returned home and survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities. As Christians, we deeply lament the painful and tragic history of the residential schools and the continuing effect this history has upon First Nations and Canada has a whole. I encourage you to wear orange on Friday.

Reconciliation lies at the heart of the Gospel. In the New Testament, the word literally means “adjustment of a difference” or “restoration to favour”. It's moving from separation, hurt, and brokenness to healing, forgiveness, and wholeness. Perhaps the clearest expression of this is in 2 Corinthians 5:17-21.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Here, we see our condition prior to reconciliation. We are sinners and our sins count against us. We are lost.

We see God's heart for reconciliation. He initiates reconciliation. He was reconciling the world to himself in Christ.

We see the direction of reconciliation. God is not reconciled to us – as if he has done something wrong and must put it right with us. No, God reconciles us to himself – we must be put right with God.

We see the method of reconciliation. It is “through Christ”. Christ, who had no sin, becomes our sin and, in turn, we are declared free of sin’s power over our lives.

And, we are given the responsibility of reconciliation. Having been shown such love and grace, we now carry this message to the world.

So, reconciliation tells us of our sinful condition, shows us God’s initiative, defines for us why we must rely on God, demonstrates to us God’s sacrificial love, and calls us to follow God’s example.

This is the way of Jesus we follow on September 30 and throughout our lives.

視頻大意翻譯(Brief video Chinese translation):

大家早。

9月30日是全國真相與和解日。 我們向從未回家的兒童和寄宿學校的倖存者,以及他們的家庭和社區表示敬意。 作為基督徒,我們對寄宿學校的痛苦和悲慘歷史以及這段歷史對第一民族和整個加拿大的持續影響深表遺憾。 作為我們哀歎的象徵,我鼓勵你們在星期五穿上橙色的衣服。

和解是基督教福音的核心所在。在新约中,這個字的字面意思是 "調整不同 "或 "重歸於好"。簡單地說,它是從分離、傷害和破碎走向癒合、寬恕和完整。 和解是關於關係。

也許這一點在哥林多後書5:17-21中有最清晰的表達。

若有人在基督裏、他就是新造的人.舊事已過、都變成新的了。一切都是出於 神、他藉着基督使我們與他和好、又將勸人與他和好的職分賜給我們.這就是 神在基督裏、叫世人與自己和好、不將他們的過犯歸到他們身上.並且將這和好的道理託付了我們。所以我們作基督的使者、就好像 神藉我們勸你們一般.我們替基督求你們與 神和好。神使那無罪的、替我們成為罪.好叫我們在他裏面成為 神的義。

我們看到我們在和解之前的狀況。 我們是罪人,我們的罪對我們不利。 我們是迷失的。 然後我們看到神對和解的心。 他發起了和解。 他在基督里使世界與自己和解。 我們看到和解的方向。 神不是與我們和解-好像他做錯了什麼,必須與我們和解。 不,神讓我們與祂自己和解-我們因為罪而與神分離,我們必須與神恢復對的關係。 只有祂能做到這一點-祂使我們與祂自己和解; 而不是我們使自己與神和解。 這一點是如何做的呢? 我們看到了和解的方法。 它是 「透過基督」。 沒有罪的基督成為我們的罪,反過來,我們也宣布擺脫了罪對我們生命的控制權。 最後,我們被賦予和好的責任。 在得到了這樣的愛和恩典之後,我們現在向世界傳遞這個信息。

因此,和解告訴了我們罪的狀況,向我們展示了神的主動性,讓我們知道為什麼要倚靠神,向我們展示神犧牲的愛,呼召我們跟隨神的榜樣。

這是在9月30日我們跟隨耶穌的方法,也是我們一生要跟隨的方法。

Grace and peace

Pastor Callum