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On the way to reconciliation

Bill Hollingsworth and his wife Ruth Photo: The Cairns Post

The beginning of June marks the close of Reconciliation Week, but our reconciliation programs have failed to find a lasting solution.

Pastor Bill Hollingsworth asks, is it because we have left Christ in the wings rather than making him the centre and circumference of our efforts?

When I was appointed to the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, I was asked what motivated me to be involved in that initiative. I said that as a Christian, I am the product of reconciliation. Romans 5:10–11 tells us that when we were still enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his son, replacing the enmity that existed between God and humankind with peace and restored relationship.

This life-changing experience does not end here, but transports us into another dimension where new obligations are placed on us. 2 Corinthians 5:17–21 informs us that when we were reconciled to God through the death of his son, God committed us to the ministry of reconciliation.

We are now ambassadors for Christ imploring humankind to be reconciled to God.

Reconciliation through Christ gives us the power and desire to be reconciled and make peace with each other.

We have to have it to give it.

When I was engaged in missionary work on Thursday Island I would pick up church members from a little community called Tamwoy and transport them to the town hall in the main township for the Sunday night service.

One evening I arrived to find a man intoxicated and in an argument with his daughter over her baby. As I parked my van in front of the house, the daughter ran down the steps with the baby and into a waiting taxi which took off before her father could stop her.

The man turned in a rage and bumped my vehicle.

I jumped out of my van and rebuked him in the name of the Lord, and he responded with a left hook which left me seeing stars. H

is family grabbed him, giving me time for my head to clear, at which point I heard the Lord say to me, "Tell him you love him".

By the grace of God, I was able to obey.

Our anger deflated like a balloon and friendship was restored.

Later, when our church was denied use of the town hall, this man let us meet in his house, and he subsequently came to the Lord. I believe it is incumbent upon me and all Christians to "be about our Father's business".

Although it may not be the conviction of some, it is my firm conviction that if we have the will and determination together with divine revelation, inspiration and illumination, a permanent solution is possible for the Glory of God and the well-being of our nation.

Pastor Bill Hollingsworth Founding member of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC), the Chairperson of the UAICC National Council of Elders and a former member of the National Aboriginal Conference.

Photo : Bill Hollingsworth and his wife Ruth Photo: The Cairns Post

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