In African culture, reconciliation is a value that should be celebrated to bring a harmony and life among the members of the community concerned. In order to pass on this value to a new generation, many attractive stories concerning reconciliation were narrated to the young people by the elders who acted as teachers. One of these attractive stories is as follows:
Once on a time, the earth and the heaven were so close to each other. The clouds were food for human beings and other creatures on the earth, some clouds were meat. Gods gave some obligations to guide human beings on how to use this food. One of these obligations was that, human beings could eat some meat but without salt. Unfortunately, the young girl who didn’t want to obey this rule, decided to put salt in the meat, immediately, the earth and the heaven separated and human beings could any more get food. The girl confessed her guilt. The whole community was affected by that action. The community members were in fear of losing their important values. They needed reconciliation that could bring back the closeness between heaven and earth. So they preyed to gods. But gods’ answer was that, the heaven would provide rain and the earth could produce food for human beings and other creatures. In this way they reconciled heaven and earth and brought harmony among themselves and other creatures. The earth and heaven could collaborate to produce food for people and all creatures.
As this short story tells about importance of reconciliation, we too need reconciliation. The fear had entered the world because of disobedience of our first parents. This fear continues to exist in the world because of our sins especial the refutation of reconciliation. In many parts of the world, we witness how fear rules where reconciliation fails to take place. With the birth of Christ, God aimed to bring a peace through reconciliation. We celebrated this great event with a new hope that Child Jesus will continue to be with us and will continue to establish peace and unit in our broken world through reconciliation. Christ will continue to be with us and renew our good cultural values, especial culture of reconciliation which is so important in our life.
To celebrate the great event of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ is also to celebrate our reconciliation because he came to reconcile us with God, heaven and earth. This event encourages us to continue to value and live reconciliation as a special gift from our God who became a man for us and who dwells among us.
Don’t be afraid!”, “Peace on earth…” (Lc.2:10, 14) these announcements of angels took away a fear of their listeners. These proclamations are so needed in our today’s world to unite us. While continue to maintain our good cultural values, Let us collaborate with Christ to bring reconciliation in ourselves, our community, families and in our broken world.
Martina Marco asc