“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
Mstislav “Slava” Rostropovich is a world-famous cellist. Since his exile from his native Russia in 1974, he has lived in the West. When Communist hard-liners pulled a coup several years ago, Slava was in Paris. But instead of scurrying back to the U.S. and safety, he and his family flew straight home to Moscow.
There, he took up his place in the Russian Federation Building that President Boris Yeltsin and his elected allies vowed to hold against every assault. In the darkened corridors, someone gave him an automatic rifle, but he returned it. Rather, he took out his cello and gave an impromptu recital to break the awful tension of the siege.
It’s amazing how something beautiful can quell a division. You’ve probably heard of the stories from the World War I battlefronts where opposing sides ceased fighting for Christmas day, and even sang carols together. It was the focus on something greater that unified them and pushed their division to the side.
There’s nothing more beautiful than Jesus. And because of that, we as believers should never let conflict with other Christians hinder us from our worship of Him. Choose Christ over conflict, and let unity under Him overwhelm all division.
Ask God to help you and others pursue Christ so that any division would be dissolved as you focus on Him.
Questions for Thought
What are the results we see today in the church because people took their eyes off of Jesus and chose division instead?
How can you be a force for unity and reconciliation in the body of Christ?