Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire. So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.” Matthew 5:21-26
Over time we even forget why we were mad
yet the wounds fester and persist until
we leave our gifts at the altar and go
seeking the sister or brother we've hurt.
We bend and kneel in meaningless prayer
when we walk outside and break others' spirits
the altars of the world accept our greedy gifts
showering honor and praise on the violent.
We release love and hope into the world
like a flower blossoming despite the weather
covered with snow and winter's chill
reconciling opens the heavens again.