Paying Attention to Jesus – Reflection for 10 September 2017
What if we really paid attention to what Jesus said? What are you talking about, of course we pay attention to Jesus. Then why do we have so many wounded churches where distrust and division seem to abound? It is easier to not talk with someone or to change churches than it is to reconcile the wrong
Jesus doesn’t say that there will never be offenses or wrongs, but he does give us a method to attempt to reconcile.
First, you personally go and attempt restoration.
Two, take another with you, not to gang up, but to make sure that the reconciliation is true and restoration is the goal.
Three, take it before the church body, this had better be a grievous sin and not just feeling slighted because you didn’t get invited to the garden party.
Four, then treat the individuals as gentiles and/or tax collectors.
We, you and I tend to treat this passage as a ‘that’s nice’ and move on. If we have that kind of problem, we take them to court in the legal system. All this raises the issue of how we take sins against ourselves. Is it easier to ignore the transgression and carry the burden of anger and unforgiveness in our souls. Interestingly, Socrates worried more about his soul than he did with his mortal body. His goal was to keep his soul in good order (my words) .
Repent, a call to reconcile with each other and God. Jesus again talks about the action of forgiveness and not just from one point of view, but from the other side of the act of repentance. The action taken is that of reconciliation and if the act is refused it does not erase the misdeed or sin.
This does not release us from the act of forgiveness towards the one who sinned against us, for if we do not forgive then that will be a burden to us here and to come. Is it worth it?
I would much rather have a brother or sister in Christ instead of a tax collector in my midst. I do not wish to shun or treat anyone as though they were unclean, as I know that all are made clean in Jesus Christ. Let me endeavor to be Christ to a brother or sister who sins and love them by giving them a chance to repent.