“I belong to you” – 40 years on – reconciliation

Hi. Just had a lightbulb moment.  Yes – a song: an old, old song. You see, I’m finalising my planning for our local church celebration next Sunday (16 July) of the Uniting Church in Australia’s 40th birthday. A significant thing to celebrate, as hopefully an impetus for moving forward.

I find myself reflecting on what I’ve valued in my 40 years in the UCA (not to mention the 22 Presbyterian Church years beforehand). One word pops out more than any other – reconciliation.  I can’t escape Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 5:19

God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting our sins against us, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation

 

I find myself impacted more and more with the truth that reconciliation is about breaking down the barriers, it’s about bringing people together, it’s about seeing the face of Jesus in the other through the eyes, hands and heart of compassion.  About dealing lovingly with difference.

That’s it.  Whether it’s First and Second People’s coming together, people of different cultures, faiths and denominations coming together, people across the political or socio-economic divide coming together, people across the generations coming together in worship or community service, people coming together at God’s Table … for me, this is reconciliation in some way or another.   And I’m glad to be part of a church, a movement actually (so often imperfect, so often …. ) that’s sought to live out the reconciliation God not only offers through Jesus, but as importantly calls us to as disciples.  This strange church I belong to keeps on committing itself to bringing people together.  I’m so glad.  So what about the song.

I remember that close on 40 years ago … OK,  a few weeks short of that … I’m at the “Fick’s Crossing” campsite near Murgon, Queensland, preparing to be on-team for a weeklong synod (statewide) children’s camp – perhaps the first of these in the new Uniting Church – the camp running in the August school holidays (yes, that long ago), and led by a great mentor of mine, Bob Warrick.  One of many memorable and formative times there at Alexandra Park, Sunshine Coast, Queensland

In free time at Fick’s Crossing, I take my Maton guitar to an empty room, and knowing that the kids’ camp theme is Belonging, a song comes to me – my first ever children’s song, and one that’s stood the test of time, thankfully all over the place.  It became the first of many.  I still use it. It’s published in the God Gives series and Seasons of the Spirit. The song?  I belong to you40 years on I reflect, that song’s about people coming together – one with each other – together in and with God.  In many ways, that’s at the heart of the UCA’s past 40 years.  That’s at the heart of what Paul writes in 2 Corinthians.  That’s at the heart of God.  So, I think we’ll sing it this Sunday …  and to God I’m so thankful.   score   mp3   lyrics

Together, I belong to you
Together, you belong to me
Together, we belong to each other
All in the family of God

I’ve got a way to care for you …

I’ve got a way to share with you… 

David MacGregor © August 1977
Willow Publishing
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