If you are familiar with the passage, you are already saying, “A Most Wonderful Thanksgiving?” The passage reads as follows “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 come and offer your gift.
I have 5 brothers and sisters. We are ALL very strong willed and opinionated people. When we get together, I am sure that at first it is very daunting for the new spouses, because we interrupt, we talk over one another, we loudly disagree–actually there isn’t much disagreement anymore, but there used to be a lot! I am sure, again because I’ve heard it said, that we come across as very confident, gregarious, and so on. BUT, let me tell you what is true. Underneath those strong willed people are people who have been hurt, mistreated, abused, lied to in some shape or fashion by those we loved and trusted at some point in our lives. I am not just talking about ex-spouses, (some of us have them) or lovers, or friends, but family members, each other, me.
Yes, me. I too have been guilty of assuming, controlling (I called it mothering, but they didn’t), hurting by neglect-just not taking the time for those most important people in my life. I have had to almost lose my life to learn how very important they are to me–all of them. But you know the best thing about having Holy God for your Father? It is never too late to change! Or rather be changed. Just voicing the desire is enough, He gets right to work. He’s been waiting for me to notice, I’m sure.
For the last 6 years now, He has been healing relationships that I can really track. This last week seemed to be the culmination of that, bring us together for the holiday several times, different ways with different people. God allowing me to really listen and make right a relationship that I had made all the wrong assumptions about years ago! What a wasted time. But I have already prayed that He will restore the years that the locusts ate here too. I am excited and so looking forward to having new “real” relationships-not relationships just based on kinship. How neat it was on the last day that we’d all be together, that nobody was ready to quit hanging together yet, so we just traded one venue for another! And of course it’s great that it’s not just happening to me and my relationships but to the others too.
You may be asking how exactly that passage in Matthew fits here. All I can say is that for several years, whenever I took communion, and this passage was read, it made me think of family-my family-t he need to be reconciled one to another, to forgive petty grievances, or large for that matter. I did take this as a command when Jesus says, “First go…” I promise it is much easier to obey than to suffer the consequences. And the final result when you are obedient is spectacular!
Older and wiser you may say—and you’d be right. But this is so much more than that though. This is God at His Finest Work-healing relationships. This has been brought about by much prayer, first started by my parents who are now with the Lord and then continued by my sister and me because we too thought it was so important. Isn’t God Great?