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Altar-ation

June 1, 2013

“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 with your brother, then come and offer your gift” – Jesus (Matthew 5: 23 & 24)

It’s late on Saturday night.

Tomorrow is Sunday. Church in the morning. You ready?

When do you get ready for church? Get washed and dressed and rush in late? Be better organised and turn up on time?  Be a bit more spiritual and turn up to pray before the start? Need to get there early to get things ready? Been working on it for days because you’re the preacher?!

Do we prepare at all or do we just turn up and expect worship to happen for us? Jesus reminds us that it doesn’t just happen.

At the end of a week off from work it is surprising and challenging how little time I have spent with Jesus. A bit of reading about him, lots of taking about his church, a little prayer.

But Jesus challenges his listeners that there may be some positive action required before you come to worship – before you come to that altar. Suppose you have fallen out with a brother or sister. If you don’t put it right why are you worshipping?

I have heard these verses used as an excuse to stay away from church, because you are not right with someone. But that’s the Irish version of these verses. They are not there to keep us away from worship, but to ensure that we go and put it right first and then come to the house of God truly ready to worship. As in my earlier blog post “Love or hate?” you can’t say you love God but hate your brother. Take steps to put it right.

Maybe you need to start early tomorrow.

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From → Christianity

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