Every one of us knows something of what it’s like to stand in need of reconciliation for the things we’ve done to others, or for the things that have been done to us. There is no harderwork in life than to step across the deep valley of regret or anger and come to terms with those whom we’ve hurt, or who have hurt us. Reconciliation requires us to overcome our natural instincts of fight or flight. When our actions or our words have hurt someone, or when we have been hurt, it’s in our nature to either passively withdraw or forcefully engage, and when that happens, Jesus compared the consequences to death.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said, “You shall not kill, and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment. But I say to you that everyone who is angry with a brother shall be liable to judgment” (Matthew 5:21-22). In other words, the lingering anger and bitterness, the chronic resentment and hostility, eventually leads to a kind of death, one way or another.
And so he tells us to come to terms quickly with those from whom we are estranged. Our life, and that of others, depends on our capacity to remember that it was Christ who stepped toward us in love, and we who would seek to be like Christ must do the same with others.
To be Christian is to take the first step toward reconciliation. We can never know what the outcome may be. We simply do as Christ has done with us, and leave the rest to God.
See you Sunday,