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A seminary course on reconciliation caused one student to think about her ancestors’ role in the slave trade. By digging into her family history, Katrina Browne found that her ancestors ran the largest slave trading business in American history. They had brought over 10,000 slaves across the ocean, and created enormous wealth. Rather than keep this shameful information a secret, she created a film called, “Traces of Trade.” She uses this film to educate people about racial reconciliation. Fuller Seminary professor Hak Joon Lee says: “Genuine reconciliation is impossible without restoration of trust—and trust comes from truth, including admitting and confessing past wrongs.” This is why Jesus was so emphatic in urging us to reconcile with others before we come to worship. We read in Matthew Chapter 5, “If you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person, then come and offer your sacrifice to God.” Jesus stresses that worship without reconciliation is meaningless to God. So before we gather to worship, we ought to deal with conflict—among family members, church members, neighbors, and ethnic groups.

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