After preaching on this text a few days ago, I find my heart and mind tugging in a different direction from that sermon for this week’s devotion. Verses 23 and 24 say: “So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift”.
As I read these two verses, I can’t help but think back to various people in my life with whom I’ve had serious conflict. Either I hurt them or they had hurt me, and we knew that living in a state of anger with each other was no way to live. And yet, neither person did much about it and the friendship, relationship, or sense collegiality “died”. There were times, however, where I found myself unable to worship or pray because what had happened with that person or friend was nagging at me so badly. Something had to be done to mend the rift that had come between us. And that mending could not happen by my own work, or the other person’s work, alone.
It is God in Jesus Christ who is the foundation of our lives, and our relationships do matter to God. When we find ourselves unable to forgive, or unable to say “I’m sorry” to another person, it is God who does the mending of a relationship. The one who has forgiven us, makes it possible for us to forgive one another.
To whom, this day, week, year, do you need to find reconciliation with? And for what might you pray that God can do to help you work toward that reconciliation?