David D. Ireland is the senior pastor of Christ Church, a multiracial congregation in Rockaway and Montclair, New Jersey. He is also a consultant to organizations such as the National Basketball Association in the areas of diversity and leadership development, and is the author of several books including The Skin You Live In. David and his wife, Marlinda, have two daughters.
What he Said … Restored Relationships
Reconciliation is a word that captures the social interaction of two people or groups formerly at odds with one another. We recognize that reconciliation has occurred because the issue is settled and the people or groups previously at odds are at peace with each other. This peace is shown by their ability to get together over a meal, in worship, or in another social venue. Paul explained this when he wrote, "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" (2 Cor. 5:17-18, NIV).
The greatest example of reconciliation is when God chose to establish peace with sinful human beings through the sacrificial death of his Son, Jesus. Christ's atoning death reversed our former state of social alienation and disconnection from God. We have been reconciled to God. Reconciliation is a sign of a healed relationship. Likewise, if we are reconciled to other races, our relationships must demonstrate the fact that the alienation has been healed.