Sunday, December 15, 2013

Reconciliation and Healing

“Teacher, which command in God’s Law is the most important?”  Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”
Matthew 22: 36-40 (The Message)

God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We're Christ's representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God's work of making things right between them. We're speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he's already a friend with you.  
2 Corinthians 5:18-20 (The Message)

Reconciliation is big word and we have heard a lot about this word with the celebration of the life of Nelson Mandela.  We also heard about the healing mission of the church when Pope Francis was recognized as Time’s Person of the Year.

This was a wonderful opportunity to re-examine these words and consider the implications for our lives.  My first thought is that both men approach their tasks with different strategies.  With further reflection, we see the common concern for the “poor”, those who were excluded politically and those excluded economically.  Both men are concerned with the systems that separate us from each other!  Both have a deep sense of love for their neighbor.  We have been surprised as to who “they see”!  For me, the vision of their neighbor is the common element of the ministries of both these men.  

We need to pray for help to understand that our obligations are more than just obeying the rules. Help us to be those individuals and communities that witness the larger dimensions of healing by teaching us the power of forgiveness.   Expand our ideas of justice and peace and forgive us for being part of the walls that prevent us from becoming your healing agents. 


Lischer, R. (2005). The end of words: The language of reconciliation in a culture of violence. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. 
Hage, M. L. (2012). Fear, Freedom and Reconciliation. Retrieved from
Hage, M. L. (2012). Rx Ubuntu. Retrieved from

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Big Healing

You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.     Psalm 63:1 (NIV)
[ A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah. ]

The desert and the parched land will be glad;
    the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
    it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.  Isaiah 35: 1-2 (NIV)

I recently (11/5/2013) had the opportunity to hear T.R. Reid, author of The Healing of America, describe his world-wide experience with health care.  He was able to combine data, history and personal experience in support of a moral argument for a more just health care system. 

With a different focus, Richard Rodriquez in his book, Darling: A Spiritual Autobiography, reflects on the events and etiologies of 9/11.   He is able to weave his stories of personal formation with an understanding of the traditions that have given birth to religious conflict. For him, relationships are the keys to healing and ultimately, like the psalmist, it is his relationship to God!

Both of these authors address the big idea of Healing. They help us reflect on where and how healing happens and why it doesn’t.  Healing is one of those big ideas that needs to be woven into the stories of all our lives.   Thanks to both of these men for there works.



Reid, T. R. (2010). The Healing of America (Reprint ed.). Penguin Books.
Rodriguez, Richard. Darling: A Spiritual Autobiography Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition.
Hage, M. L. (2013). Healing Spaces. Retrieved from
Hage, Marvin (2010-12-01). Healing Agents: Christian Perspectives. Kindle Edition.