v 24. leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.
So important is the notion of being reconciled with others that Jesus tells us that proper worship is impossible unless we are ready and willing to be reconciled with others around us. He said it was vitally important to be in a right relationship with others before engaging in worshipping God. That speaks volumes about the importance of being reconciled with others! You may have arrived at the Temple, says Jesus, and already have prepared your sacrificial offering, but leave it there and put things right with someone who has been offended, only then are you ready to begin worship.
Bad relationships have a serious impact on our spiritual lives. When we are out of sorts with someone, prayer is less meaningful and worship can become an empty formality. This is when it is important to take the initiative and approach the other person. It is no good saying ‘it’s his fault, I’m not apologising!’ It is usually helpful to be the one who makes the first move towards reconciliation. Says Jesus, ‘Leave the sacrifice .. Go.’ Peacemakers are those who are ready to take this first step towards reconciliation. The longer bad feelings linger the harder it becomes to put things right. It may mean swallowing pride, and making unusual efforts to put things right, but Jesus says the blessing is for ‘those who strive for peace ‘ Is that saying anything to you today?