“You have heard that it was said to those who lived long ago, Don’t commit murder, and all who commit murder will be in danger of judgment. But I say to you that everyone who is angry with their brother or sister will be in danger of judgment. If they say to their brother or sister, ‘You idiot,’ they will be in danger of being condemned by the governing council. And if they say, ‘You fool,’ they will be in danger of fiery hell. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift at the altar and go. First make things right with your brother or sister and then come back and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:21-24 CEB
The bible is beautiful story that winds its way through history. It provides us with much to consider; ultimately, it presents us with an inspired way of seeing. God is portrayed as one who has come to give us stuff, who wants relationship with us. He is up to something, and although we are invited along, this isn’t a God who coerces and controls.
We also learn as we read and study that we are made in the Image of God. That means that we have to be on high alert, attentive to what it means to reflect God in the world around us.
Matthew five tells us that even calling your brother or sister names is naughty. I’m assuming, therefore, that repealing a sister’s right to vote is very naughty indeed. Inspired to bear God’s image, I don’t have the luxury of being against a gender, a race, anyone who is “different” from me. I don’t get to push someone out so that I will have a few moments of reduced tension. (Remember, this is not the same thing as ignoring bad behavior or always sticking with a relationship that is abusive, unhealthy or toxic – but that’s for another day’s discussion.)
This passage reminds us that it is so important how we treat others, that it is worth getting up from worship and going and making things right. That’s pretty profound. And it comforts me to know that God values relationships and he is giving us both permission and guidance as to how to reflect him. So I ask you: do you think the snarky way we have handled ourselves during this election season decent reflecting?