A lot of humans struggle to apologize, but God’s people are supposed to make things right with one another. In Leviticus chapter 6, the Lord lists sins. The list ends with this line,

—in any of all the things that people do and sin thereby— Lev 6:3b.

This is a catch-all, a way of making sure some things don’t slip through the cracks. The phrase makes me smile because it lumps all possible sins and all possible people into a wad. “All the things that people do.” We do sin thereby, but it’s our job to make it right. Leviticus 6 makes that clear and other parts of Scripture do too. One’s connection with people affects their connection to God; we are interconnected.

1 John 4:20 —If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.

Matthew 5:23-24 —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.

Human connections reflect our worship.

On the last night of Summer Camp, youth groups are given some time to be together to connect as a church. One of my favorite practices during that time is to celebrate communion, but before we do, I remind or inform students of the importance of stopping to apologize to each other. After a week of living together, people have a tendency to be hurtful or rude or to have done “any of all the things the people do and sin thereby.” So, students are encouraged to be honest about that and to confess to each other and apologize. It is good to practice apologizing and being honest with each other before the Lord. The students do it. They move around the room, seeking out people, confessing their sins, apologizing, and offering forgiveness. Usually, hugs begin to happen and tears start to flow because there is something sweet about confession, forgiveness, and restoration of relationships. Then the group celebrates communion and remembers Jesus in close fellowship with each other. It is a sweet time.

Apologizing to each other and making relationships right is nothing to be feared. It is a sweet time to be hurried into.

John Riley
Jr. High Pastor

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