How do we know reconciliation with those on the margins is happening?
At REMERGE, we are always using the language of “joining lives” with those on the margins. This is the language we use for how we are living out the reconciliation of Christ with the vulnerable. The phrase joining lives turned into a book written by Dr. Andy Odle and nine other contributors reflecting on what living out reconciliation with the most vulnerable means in different contexts.
Below are indicators from Dr. Andy Odle’s book, “Joining Lives: A Primer on the Ministry of Reconciliation”. Joining Lives
The first indicator is collaboration (Rom 12:4, 5). If we are one in Christ and members of one another then this should be reflected by working together toward common goals and vision with other Christians, churches, organizations, businesses, etc.
The second indicator is the inclusion of the voice, contribution and influence of the most vulnerable (1 Cor 12:22–26). We can hardly say we take seriously the ministry of reconciliation if we claim to love the dishonored of the world and then tell them to sit quietly in the corner while we who have honor make decisions for them.
The third indicator is diversity (Eph 2:14). Jesus tears down the walls between groups that were previously divided and that should be reflected in our communities and organizations by the presence of people that have historically lived separated from one another.
The fourth indicator is reciprocated participation of all members (1 Cor 12:4–7). Everyone has been gifted to serve one another and the common good. This should be reflected by concrete participation in the community through both giving to and receiving from one another.
The final indicator is changed ways of living (Eph 6:12). This is not simply about moral actions, but rather the transformation of whole patterns of interacting in the world and with neighbors. Because we are directed to “struggle” against principalities and powers, this attentiveness should make us aware of our complicity in the systems and ways of the world, and thus result in repentance. The shorthand is simple: our lives have been and are being indissolubly joined together in Christ, they should look that way.
This is not a comprehensive list but really good measurements as to knowing whether or not reconciliation with those on the margins is happening. The training Dignity Serves begins to unpack what this means through “dignified interdependent” relationships. Dignity Serves