“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
Matthew 5 : 23 – 24
Supporting Scotland’s football teams (both men’s and women’s!), Andy Murray and Partick Thistle sounds like a life sentence to some I’m sure, but at least I can be accused of being the eternal optimist – or to follow Sarah’s words from Sunday – ‘hopeful’ to say the least!
Following the ‘great Glasgow alternative’ comes with its specific challenges, in addition to the ridicule and weekly disappointment.
To anyone who’s watched a Scottish football match recently, or up to speed with the goings-on around to end the football season will notice the all-too-obvious tribalism at play. And, personally, I admit to falling into this culture of bitterness and resentment too.
These verses from the Sermon on the Mount remind us of what God wants us to do. Love is what matters – free from bitterness and resentment.
There are plenty more striking and heart-breaking injustices around us than the ones befallen my beloved Partick Thistle. Daily, we see examples hunger, loneliness, lack of compassion and suffering in our communities and around the world.
However, particularly in this time of lockdown, there are also countless stories of kindness, generosity and ingenuity. A love for others lies behind these – and my hope is that we emerge into a society where forgiveness in our hearts and actions, is far more commonplace.
Loving God, we know that it’s sometimes too easy for bitterness to build in our hearts. Give us the strength and wisdom to show love, compassion and forgiveness – especially at a time when we feel wronged.
Use today to reflect on a time when you felt angered or bitterness towards others. Take strength from these words in Matthew to help change those feelings into ones of forgiveness and love.