“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.” (Matthew 5:23-24 NIV)
We recently talked about reconciliation, Godspell and a Converse tennis shoe.
I was reminded of emotions associated with said reconciliation, or a lack thereof.
Several years ago, my Dad had died suddenly, and as I went through funeral arrangements with Mom and my four siblings, I realized that I didn’t have any unfinished business. I was living about 1,000 miles from my parents, but I called them at least once a week, and every time, I told both of them, “I love you.” I do recall however, there were some in my family who did have unfinished business.
The reason why this all came flooding back was because I just lost a friend. He was walking along a California beach, collapsed from a massive heart attack and never recovered. One of his sons posted this on Facebook a few days later:
“Over the past six months, I’ve tried to make sure that I left nothing unsaid between us.” He was reconciled with his Dad.
The word reconciled from the above passage is a unique occurrence, and literally means to change from conflict to peace, from enmity to friendship.
I believe these two examples, which are thirty-some years apart, are both timely and necessary. With COVID-19 hanging over our world like some sword of Damocles, is there someone you need to be reconciled with, someone who needs to be forgiven or from whom you need to seek forgiveness?
“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12 NAS)
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. (6:14-15)
So, there are two reasons we are to be reconciled…without delay:
- Time may be short.
- The Lord requires it.
Today’s One Thing
The great news regarding the above two examples is death is NOT the final chapter. They died in Christ, and therefore we have hope.
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 NIV)
But for those of us in the here and now and still have unfinished business, don’t wait. First go and be reconciled.
You may then have the opportunity to help reconcile them to God:
And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to Him. (2 Corinthians 5:18 NLT)