Reconciliation includes forgiveness, but it extends to the release of guilt and returning to, or beginning, a healthy relationship. Reconciliation means forgiving as Jesus forgives: for the purpose of the restoration of relationship, not so that we can have a reason to be separate. The only way to do this successfully and long-term is to begin by reconciling ourselves to Jesus. There is so much negative history between white and black people in America that if we begin the process without first having Jesus in our hearts, we’re doomed to fail. It’s too hard, nay impossible, to reconcile without Jesus at the helm at all times, not just when it immediately benefits us or makes us feel good.
While repentance includes “confession,” it is also much more than that. Repentance is not only something we confess with our lips, but something we live with our lives. So, too, with corporate repentance. When we experience repentance on a corporate level, we not only admit past mistakes but also seek to rectify them—regardless of whether we were the ones who actually committed the wrongs to begin with.