Thy Will Be Done

Like many Australians, I listened to the opening of Parliament on Wednesday, and Kevin Rudd's "Sorry" speech to the stolen generations of Aboriginal children.

I was moved even before Kevin began his speech with the opening prayer to Parliament. Normally this prayer seems a meaningless ritual prior to the government and the opposition hurling abuse at one another.

Wednesday was different.

"Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven... forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us".

I was moved because I knew in my heart of hearts that this was going to be one of those rare days when a sound like heavenly grace was going to be heard on earth... in no lesser place than the highest office in our land. When the Kingdom of God would be at hand... when God's will would be done... when "Sorry" (and the implicit request for forgiveness) would be heard... when confession would be made and reconciliation sought. A day of good news to the poor, delivery for the captives, sight for the blind, justice for the oppressed.

I was deeply moved by Kevin Rudd's speech... and moved by the weeping of the Aboriginal people who heard it... and moved by the stories I heard throughout the day of the power of a simple confession in the hearts of members of the stolen generations ... and moved by stories of black and white people who embraced and wept together.

I was moved by a sense that something monumental was happening within the heart and soul and spirit of a country and a people. For it seemed to me the apology was not just a bill in Parliament... it was a spiritual act... and was named as such by many of the aboriginal people interviewed that day.

I invite you to comment on your views of the apology... your reaction to Kevin Rudd's speech (or Brendan Nelson's if you'd rather), or on "where to from here?" in aboriginal reconciliation.

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