I wrote this while doing my training, as a reflection on sharing the peace during a communion service. The picture above shows The Statue of Reconciliation at Coventry Cathedral.
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)
As we look at the picture above we see the cost and comfort of reconciliation. The two figures lean towards each other across a gap caused by many hurts. Each must give up the security of withdrawal to hide the hurt. They can’t pretend the gap isn’t there. Each must trust the other to not turn away and let them fall. Then, in their coming together, they find support, comfort and understanding. The gap between them is beginning to close.
Jesus understood conflict and he understood reconciliation. He does not say pretend there are no conflicts. He says go and be reconciled. He does not say have perfect relationships before you approach me. He says put your relationships right when they go wrong. He asks for honesty. We need honesty to admit it when we are wrong and honesty to admit it when we are hurt. He also asks us to be brave and loving enough to forgive. To close the gap. To genuinely wish peace on all our brothers and sisters. Then we can come and offer our gifts to him together – as one body.