Word to the Wise

Friday, February 23, 2018 - 1st Week of Lent - Fri

[Ezek 18:21-28 and Matt 5:20-26]

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2018. FRIDAY IN THE FIRST WEEK OF LENT [Ezekiel 18:21-28 and Matthew 5:20-26] "Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift." [Matthew] The Gospel According to Matthew places a premium on Jesus' teachings about forgiveness and reconciliation. The passage quoted above from the gospel scripture for today puts reconciliation ahead of worship! Matthew 18:15-17 outlines a process of reconciliation that is very healthy. Matthew 18:21-35 speaks of the consequences of unforgiveness, and echoes the teaching about the "Our Father" in the Sermon on the Mount. (Matthew 6:14-15). Forgiveness and reconciliation are not exactly the same thing. Forgiveness is always possible. Reconciliation may not be because it requires more than one person and one of them may be unwilling or even deceased! Nevertheless, Jesus challenges us to do both. Grudges are a cross we do not have to bear but we seem to hold on to them for dear life. Forgiveness is the first step to reconciliation and it is always in our power to do. Jesus calls us to that first step so that we can move forward to the next. AMEN

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