Reconciliation is the gospel. I’m quoting a friend of mine who gave a lecture on this two and a half years ago in Coventry, Sam Wells, the vicar of St. Martin’s in the Field. Reconciliation is the gospel — reconciliation with God, but we should never imagine that God gives just enough reconciliation through the death of Jesus on the cross, the resurrection, the sending of the Holy Spirit, the ascension, through the whole narrative of the life and death and the present life of Jesus — that He gives just enough reconciliation for the church. He gives reconciliation in bucket loads, in shiploads, in ocean loads, far more than we need.
And so our job is to overflow with reconciliation — reconciliation with God, reconciliation with each other as Christians — getting away from the back-biting, the attacking, the scandalous division, which so impedes the work of the Spirit and has done for hundreds and even over a thousand years. But also reconciliation so wherever we see what God intends, which is His people, the people whom He has created, every human being on earth, learning to relate well to each other, to disagree, but not destructively, to be individual and yet loving and caring for one another — wherever we see that not happening, Christians should be leaning into it, engaging, showing a better way, enabling people to be heard, to listen, and to do that most of all with the poor, the marginalized, those on the edge, who sometimes can only make themselves heard through shouting.
We need to be the ones who take those voices and enable people to come together, to tackle violent conflict and non-violent conflict, family conflict and church conflict: we are to be the people for whom reconciliation is the gospel.