Getting Real About Life, about Love, and about God
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Open and Point
Sometimes i will just open up my bible and point at a scripture passage and read it. Today,I opened up to Matthew chapter5 and my finger landed on:
"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then came and offer your gift."
At first I wanted to try again. This can't be right. Maybe, I need to read further. Maybe, I meant to point in a different place other than the Sermon on the Mount. Maybe, It is what God wants me to think about today. Maybe, it is just what I need.
I am sorry if I have hurt you. I am sorry if I have done something to make you mad or to make you feel like I don't love you, because I do.
I find it interesting as I reflected upon this passage how often it gets misquoted. I often hear it translated as "don't go to the altar if you are holding a grudge against someone." or "your heart better be right before you take communion." or "don't offer your gift if you have anger in your heart."
As I reflected on this "open and point" word from God, it stuck out to me that the passage says "if you are at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you." This is not an excuse keep from coming and offering our gifts at the altar. If you are at the altar and remember.
There are times when we come to God and place ourselves in his presence and we are reminded of others. When we come to God we need to ask him to make us mindful of others who may have something against us. You see this passage is not talking about us having something against our brother, it is not about what is in our hearts, it is about being mindful of what others may have in their hearts about us or because of us.
Our first prayer as we offer ourselves and our gifts to God, should be one to remember brothers or sisters who have something against us. In this way we are offering ourselves to the ministry of reconciliation. I also notice that we are to leave our gift in front of the altar and go be reconciled. We are not suppose to take our gift with us.
You see God's desire is that we would all love one another, that we would not hold grudges or allow the sun to go down on our anger. That we would be quick to forgive as he forgives us and that we would settle matter quickly. He wants us to be reconciled to each other as well as to Him.
It is a dangerous thing to open and point. You just might land on something that you need to hear.
I am sorry if I have hurt you. I love you.
In Christ's love and mine,