“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First, go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
If you haven’t already, I would suggest reading this text a second or third time. Really let it sink in because it is quite convicting. How are we (sinful and broken people) supposed to be in the presence of our “…Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) if we are bearing the weight of un-holy baggage. The simple and straightforward solution is getting rid of said un-holy baggage. That we can get rid of it in the first place without it being a parasite in our lives is a true gift from Heaven.
This passage talks about leaving our gift at the altar in order to reconcile with our brother/ sister. Notice how Jesus didn’t say friend or acquaintance or that one person from work. He paints the picture of a family. This is Jesus giving us the “mom look,” and you know which one I am referring to. I have five (soon to be six) siblings and all of us get the “mom look” quite often. We know it means go restore our relationship before we do anything else.
Now how do we as believers participate in the renovation of our church, our community, and ourselves? First, we have to identify what needs to be renovated. Is there someone you absolutely can’t stand because of their political views? Did you hear something in a sermon that rubbed you the wrong way? Has someone done something against you and you haven’t forgiven them? These are perfect places to begin restoration and renovation.
God has given us an incredible opportunity to get closer to Him, but in order to do so, we must, “leave our gift at the altar,” and be reconciled or… Renovated.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you so much for giving us not only the opportunity, but the PRIVILEGE to come before you and reconcile with those who we oppose and who oppose us. This is necessary to our wellbeing and you knew this from the very beginning. Thank you for sharing with us this timeless wisdom in order that we may be healed and renovated. I thank you Lord for everything you have done – are doing – and will do.
I pray these things in the holy name of your son, Jesus. Amen.