To be forgiven, to be atoned for, to be reconciled--synonymous expressions--is to be granted a mission to become a reciprocal performer of the same: to forgive, to work atonement, and to be an agent of reconciliation. Thus, atonement is not just something done to us and for us, it is something we participate in--in this world, in the here and now. It is not just something done, but something that is being done and something we do as we join God in the mission Dei.
So Paul took his stand in the open space at the Areopagus and laid it out for them: "I'm here to introduce you to this God.... He doesn't play hide-and-seek with us. He's not remote; he's near. We live and move in him, can't get away from him!" ~Acts 17