Armodoxy for Today
Greater than God
For Jesus, there is one thing which is greater than God. It probably sounds unusual to express this, in this manner, but in fact, when all is said and done, Jesus makes it very clear that one thing is more important than God.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, “If you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5)
Jesus makes it clear that the sacredness of church, the worship practice, or even supporting your church are all secondary to our reconciliation with one another. He draws a line separating sincerity from hypocrisy, it doesn’t make sense to give outwardly if you aren’t at peace inwardly. “Leave your gift there before the altar,” he says. There is something much more important, and that is for us to be at peace with one another, reconciled and in union with one another. In fact, this is the first message given to us on the night of Jesus’ birth: “Peace on Earth/Good will toward one another.”
Christianity is about our reconciliation with one another and thereby being reconciled with God.
Let us pray the prayer of St. Nersess Shnorhali (23), “All merciful Lord, have mercy upon all your faithful, on those who are mine and those who are strangers to me, on those whom I know and those whom I do not know, on the living and on the dead, and forgive all my enemies, and those who hate me, the trespasses that they have committed against me, turn them from the malice which they bear towards me, that they may be worthy of Your mercy. Amen.