It’s still Yom Kippur, until well after sunset. So I’m still thinking about the practice of “settling accounts” for a year’s behavior.
Y’know, like small businesses (and once-upon-a-time households) routinely go through their expenses and their money coming in, making sure everything lines up and the amount the bank says is there and the amount your records say is there come out to the same thing. Oh, and if there are any loans, stuff owed that needs to be paid back, like that.
Reconciliation. That technical term.
Kind of like “forgive us our debts/as we forgive those who owe us” — again a fiscal metaphor, though it’s Jesus instructing folks this time.
I find it interesting how in church-world the word “reconciliation” has these grand, social-justice, church-specific overtones. As if this is something amazingly holy that only God-three-persons can pull off… like grace.
Whereas in our non-church life it’s just something wise to do each month. At least for our bank accounts. And it’s not technically challenging, either. Frankly, I find it tedious, which is no doubt how I achieve my super-skill of causing even Quicken to gain or lose errant pennies. (Ask my college roommate. She likes to tell the story.) But I digress.
Reconciliation is lining things up, making the right and left match. Making sure I know what’s owed, what’s owing, and how those gaps are going to be bridged.
In faith-life, reconciliation is in step with atonement. And as the famous theologian-whose-name-escapes-me pointed out, the church-word “atonement” explains itself in its deconstruction: at-one-ment.
If I’ve reconciled my life’s ledger, I can more easily understand/feel/accept God’s free-flowing love. We are at one together, with no unbridged gaps making me think I’m on the far side of a chasm.
Once-a-year intentional reconciliation seems like the bare minimum for a wise person’s steady connection to God. Like a bank account, monthly or weekly might be best! But then, my tradition doesn’t even offer as clearly defined a practice as an annual one. Perhaps that’s part of what causes me to pause each year during the High Holy Days.
As the Book of Life closes for now, may your accounts come out even, and all your debts be paid and forgiven. Amen.