23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.”
As we approach the Celebration of our Savior’s birth, our thoughts turn to gifts. What are we going to give _______? What are we going to get? The Scripture for today refers to a gift, not for another person, but for God, and our theme is “healing”. How do we link these together and what are the results?
Have you been healed by the Spirit of God? Spiritually, if we are saved, we all have! How about physically? I know that God has placed His healing touch on several of you. In 1967 God touched my wife, Myrna, with a physical healing when we lived in Grants, N.M. She was afflicted with “Bell’s Palsy”! Her face was “drooping” and she had no control over such basic functions as blinking one eye or smiling. A group of Godly, praying women in the Methodist church where I served as minister of music, decided it was time to concentrate their prayers on healing for Myrna. God heard and answered those prayers. How we praised God, and what an encouragement this was to us and to that body of believers.
While physical healing is wonderful, there is a healing that is even greater and better. That is the healing that comes when, through belief in Christ and His redeeming power, we are saved. It doesn’t stop there, though. Sometimes there have been hurts in our lives that do not affect us physically. These emotional and spiritual hurts can be very damaging and destructive. These hurts within the family are even worse.
Christ says in our Scripture, “if, as you worship (offering your gifts to) Him, you remember a hurt that your brother (in Christ) has against you, leave your worship, go and make it right, then come back to worship.” Notice Christ did not say if you remember a hurt you have against your brother, NO, He said, “your brother (or sister) has against you”. A very big difference.
This Advent Season, as you pray and praise God for sending Christ to heal you, ask Him if there is something in your life that needs to be “cleared up” between you and someone else – especially if it’s within the family. Take the time to allow God to speak to you and then go and be healed by clearing this from your life. May this Christmas be a time of healing for your family – then you can celebrate the true meaning of Advent.