Reconciliation is at the core of the good news of Jesus Christ:
“So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.” (2 Cor. 5:17-19)
The Old Testament tells the story, in part, of the estrangement of God’s people from God. Instead of dusting his hands of them, God instead commits to God’s people in a whole new way in the Incarnation of Christ. The life, death, and resurrection of Christ reconciles the divide between God and God’s people and entrusts that message to the community of the baptized, to share it as widely as we can.
To that end, it’s encouraging to see that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has appointed David Porter as his Director of Reconciliation. David Porter comes from Coventry Cathedral, a place that has made itself a centre for the ministry of reconciliation.
This, in turn, led to the creation of the Community of the Cross of Nails and the cathedral’s reconciliation work. Justin Welby knows about this, because he used to work there.
I had a chance to meet David Porter on my visit to Coventry and he is an inspiring person: direct, funny, honest, forthright, holy, and deeply committed to spanning seemingly unbridgeable gulfs. His background is in the peace process in Northern Ireland but since going to work at Coventry he’s been involved in a number of places around the world.
Creating this position is a no-brainer, really, and David Porter is an excellent person to fill the role.