Scripture: Matthew 5:21-26
Key verse: (23-24) 23So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.
Reflection: When asked what she wanted for Mother’s Day or Christmas, my mother would always say the same thing: one day of peace and quiet with no fighting!
Our house was never peaceful or quiet. Three boys made for lots of noise and daily disruptions. When she told us what she wanted we would grimace and say, “seriously Mom, what do you really want?”
I don’t know if my Mom knew she was quoting the Bible but in expressing her wishes she was pretty much reading off of God’s wish list. It seems the best gift, the first gift, we can give God is to be right with each other. Jesus is pretty direct. Notice too what he doesn’t say. There is no stipulation made about whose fault it really was or who started it. Jesus doesn’t say to make the constant, ever and over used apology that is no apology we are so fond of: I am sorry you were offended, etc.
No, Jesus could not be more to the point. When there is a break, repair it. Where there is sin, forgive it, repent of it. If there is a struggle, let go of it. If there is a wrong, right it. If there is more hurt and hate instead of love between you and a brother and sister, get out of my house and get to their house. Make it better and then come back and see me. We give thanks it seems in God’s kingdom by saying sorry, by saying I love you.
In the spirit of Christ’s command — if you have read this devotion and felt like you have done your daily duty but are not reconciled to a brother or sister then we have not yet begun our holy work today.
Prayer: Lord who loves me more than I can understand or deserve, help me learn to love as generously with the ones you have blessed me with in my life. Let me make an offering this day of my confession of sin and love. Amen.
Author: Derek Macleod
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].