In this special National Reconciliation Week (27 May-3 June) edition of Partners we focus on the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians from around the Anglican Church.
At the heart of the Gospel message is God’s act of reconciliation with the world through his Son.
Christians, I believe, are called to model this commitment to reconcile with others through our own life and witness. James reminds us that we ‘are to be doers of the word and not merely hearers ...’ (James 1: 22). Paul says we are ‘... ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us ...’ (2 Cor 5: 20). We are called by our very nature as Christians to be reconcilers: people who are committed to living and acting in the presence and power of God’s reconciling love.
Jesus says that ‘...if you remember that anyone has anything against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister ...’ (Matt 5: 23 – 24). Australia is having a long, but necessary, arduous journey on the way to reconciliation with Australia’s first peoples. Recognising past and present wrongs done to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is proving to be a difficult journey for many. Yet, it is here that Christians can lead the way. As I write, it is the season of Lent. We have an inbuilt season in the Christian year for recognising our own personal wrongdoings and sinfulness, for making confession, and receiving God’s forgiveness. The season of Lent can shape our journey towards reconciliation within our Australian context. As a nation, we can recognise the negative consequences of colonial occupation, and the ongoing presence of racism and injustice towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Jesus reminds us ‘that the truth will make you free’ (John 8:32).
ABM has been at the forefront of this journey towards reconciliation. ABM has long supported the aspirations and ministry of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and has committed itself to walk the long journey of reconciliation. This is the ministry of ‘partnership’; not walking ahead, but journeying alongside.
The Rt Rev’d Chris McLeod
National Aboriginal Bishop
Download document 3.61 MB