The holidays are for many a joyous time surrounded by family, friends and festivities. However, that is not always the case for many of us. Years back, my parents divorced. In the wake of this, it was very hard for me to want to celebrate the holidays. Christmas became a painful reminder of how nothing would ever be the same.
The concept of reconciliation is a foreign one in modernity. Few people talk in these terms anymore outside of religious communities. Hence why the power of the act is lost on most.
In the ancient Greek the word for reconcile is “Katallage,” meaning to exchange. It was most commonly used in the context of monetary exchange.
What the years have taught me is that reconciliation is not getting things back to the way they were but literally exchanging it for something better.
I think this is the heart of the Jesus message. He came to show us a new way to live in the world. A way that exchanges all the old ways of doing something for an entirely new and better way. The verb of katallage is allásso. In classical Greek allásso itself was used to express changing shape, or color, or appearance.
The Jesus way is catalytic to sustained transformative change. It takes all the broken things and replaces them with something new, clean, bright. It’s what gives us a new reason to come home, a new reason to celebrate.
— Christian Trent