Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of April 29, 2012
As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press,
here is a selection from our book of daily devotions,
"Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the
Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed.
Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.
Murder, anger, insults, contempt
"But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother
or sister, you will be liable to judgement; and if you
insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the
council; and if you say, 'You fool', you will be liable
to the hell of fire. So when you are offering your gift
at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister
has something against you, leave your gift there before
the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or
sister, and then come and offer your gift."
What does Jesus have to teach us about murder, anger,
insults, contempt, accusations, and legal action? Quite
a bit, if you are interested. In just a few sentences
(verses 21-26), we are given a summary of his teaching
on reconciliation with our figurative and literal
brothers and sisters. He gives us some fresh insight
Anger is as dangerous as murder. It is spiritually
impossible to offer gifts to God with anger and
bitterness in our hearts. The best gift we can give
God is our peaceful reconciliation with each other.
This is easier said than done, but well worth the
effort and persistence. It may take years. We may
be refused or ignored, mocked or slandered, but
reconciliation is necessary for our spiritual
wholeness. We need to make genuine efforts, even
perhaps swallowing our pride. We may even need
counseling, therapy, a spiritual director, or to
talk with a trusted friend or pastor for help.
Nothing is easy about reconciling deep hurts.
After my mother died, my brother did not speak to me
for more than twelve years. Years later, during a
family crisis, we spoke on the telephone and are now
reconciled. We both regret many misperceptions we
carried in our hearts over the past. We will never
be able to get those years back and relive them.
Our relationship deeply affected my spiritual life.
It still does. He is my brother.
If we are to know peace, we need to seek reconciliation
with those we have hurt, or who have hurt us. If we
are to live and die in peace, we need to do the same.
We need reconciliation for our spiritual healing.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be the
children of God (Matthew 5:9).
God, help us be reconciled with our brothers and
sisters in the world. Bless our peacemaking, we
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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