Sermon for Epiphany 7A
Text: Lev. 19:18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.
Last week, you may recall, our attention was focused on the importance of being reconciled with one another… reconciled with those with whom we may be in conflict.
Our text was from Matthew 5, where Jesus says if you are presenting an offering to the Lord, and suddenly remember that someone has something against you, don’t give your offering to God yet. First, go and be reconciled with the one who has something against you. Then come and offer your gift.
And in addition to Mat 5, you might recall that I made reference to Mt 18, where Jesus says that if your brother sins against you, go to him and show him his fault. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.
And the reason I talked about both of those passages in the same sermon is because I wanted to point out that it doesn’t matter who is at fault. It doesn’t matter who sinned, or who was sinned against. When you are in a conflict with somebody (not if but when) it is YOUR responsibility to go to the other person… in order for the relationship to be restored, in order for you to be reconciled.
And the reason it’s your responsibility is because you’re the good one… right? You’re the right one. You’re the spiritual one. And St. Paul says in Galatians 6:1, “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin… you who are spiritual… should restore him… gently.”
So, is that really what you are? Is that really who you are, the spiritual one? I wonder if it doesn’t make you feel a little bit uneasy to have a title like that, “the spiritual one”.