Friday, 20 March 2015
Exclusion and Embrace: Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness and Reconciliation,
Miroslav Volf, Abingdon Press, 1996, page 126
Simply bringing hostilities to an end, trying to walk away from the conflict while saying that there's been too much injustice or hurt to ever be friends, doesnt' go far enough. It doesn't go as far as the Cross.
At the heart of the cross is Christ's stance of not letting the other remain an enemy and of creating space in Himself for the offender to come in. Read as the culmination of the larger narrative of God's dwelling with humanity, the cross says that despite its manifold enmity toward God, humanity belongs to God; God will not be God without humanity.
G-d's unquenchable desire to reconcile mankind to Himself, not just to end the conflict, but to embrace and welcome the errant mankind back into relationship.
Forgiveness is therefore not the culmination of Christ's relation to the offending other; it is a passage leading to embrace.