Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Lent is upon us as of the beginning of March. Lent is a season of honesty, much like Advent. It is a time in the church year that we are encouraged to be truthful about the realities that humans in general experience, as well as to be honest about own individual experiences. This honesty includes acknowledging our shortcomings and seeking reconciliation with God and seeking reconciliation with our neighboring situations where our shortcomings caused harm to others. We heard in a recent Gospel text:
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. Matthew 5:23-24 NRSV
That is to say, it is important for us to do our part to foster healing in relationships that have been damaged or broken. This is so important that reconciliation with our brothers and sisters is reason enough to hold off on worship practices, such as making an offering to God, so that we can do what is in our power to bring about healing in relationships.
Are their relationships that you have that are in need of repairing? What was your fault in their breaking? Are you able to make the necessary amends for these actions without causing more harm to yourself or others? Consider reflecting and praying over these questions through the season of Lent in hopes that by Easter, new life in these once broken relationships may be experienced.
Peace in Christ Jesus, Pastor Lauren Applegate