“I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord.” ~Philippians 4:2

First, be reconciledThe apostle Paul believes Christian unity is huge. It’s critical. It’s paramount to the successful advance of the Gospel and it’s necessary for the continuing growth, or sanctification, of the Church. And not just in idealistic or imaginary ways. Paul means unity on every pew, in every relationship.

Jesus taught the same thing. In fact, I’d say this is where Paul gets it. The Holy Son of God says our relationships with one anotherĀ are much more important than anything we do in our worship assemblies. But we always want to worry about our worship assemblies. We write about our worship practices, we discuss our worship trends, we fret over worship changes or lack of changes, we spend a lot of ink and time and energy and effort on what we do in a big room together for 75-minutes every week. Jesus says if you’re not reconciled to your own brother, forget it.

“If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” ~Matthew 5:23-24

If you’re fighting with your sister, if you’re arguing with your brother, if you’re not on speaking terms with somebody in your congregation right now, if there’s ill will between you and somebody in your church, Jesus’ instructions would be to make things right before you offer a song, before you offer a prayer, certainly before you come to the table.

You might say, “It’s none of your business. This is a private matter between us.”

Paul would say, “Oh, no. Your disagreement, your arguing is everybody’s business. The unity and sanctity of God’s Church is too important.”

First, be reconciled. Then, come worship.

Whether it was something that happened between you two last week or you two are nursing a grudge that was born twenty years ago. Make that phone call. Go to her house. Invite him out for coffee. Agree with each other in the Lord. It could be the most important New Year’s resolution you make. It would be just the kind of “starting over” a God of reconciliation who gives his people the ministry of reconciliation would be expecting.

First, be reconciled. Then, come worship.

It’s important.