Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24
All of us have been in a situation, aware of offending someone else in thought, word, or deed. I’ve struggled with this sin during the past week. Typically, by the time I realize I’ve thought it, the damage is done. I thought I’d left the damage behind years ago. It was easier to move forward instead of taking the time and effort to repair it broken family relationships. But God has other plans.
As with restoration of all kinds, we never regain exactly what we had before. Instead, we repair, mend, and rebuild. Sometimes we add new parts to help the relationship function again, much the way we restore a beloved piece of furniture after years of neglect. It will never be new, but it can have more character, be stronger and more resilient. The table leg may be askew, but the top is level and will again bear some weight. It’s much the same when we work to restore relationships with others; we can again bear with one another.
Much like skipping the restoration process and simply shopping for new furniture, it’s very tempting to skip Lent and head right to Easter. The pretty budding trees, the Easter candy (already available in every grocery store,) bunnies and chicks, flowers, and Hallelujahs. Easter is calling, and it is coming!
But to get to Easter, first we should go into the wilderness with Jesus. We must face our sins and temptations. We really need to live with their weight and their consequences for a while, to contemplate everything that separates us from God. Lent brings us to our knees at the foot of the cross. It’s only there, at the cross, that we can truly experience the wonder & joy of Christ’s resurrection.
I encourage you to take a personal journey to the cross, Use daily readings and prayers, easily found in bookstores or online, to explore what it means to have a clean heart and have a right spirit restored within you.