When we gather together, we must remember the wisdom and grace of God.
In an assembly like this, there must be countless offenses, grievances, hurts, misunderstandings, and more. These are knots that should not be untied; the more we try to untie them, the worse we make it. God’s way is far simpler. Love dissolves all such tangles—it even dissolves the rope.
Jesus tells us that when we remember that our brother has something against us, we are to leave our gift at the altar, and go make it right. This has application to the Lord’s Supper, but not the direct application that is readily assumed. The Lord’s Supper is not our gift to God, but rather His gift to us. If you realize that someone has a grievance against you, then put your tithe envelope back in your pocket, and then go, make it right—so far as it depends on you. The Lord said to leave your gift on the altar; He did not say to leave the bread and wine there.
So should you refrain from the Lord’s Supper if you realize that someone has a grievance against you? The short answer is no. But if you know that they have this grievance, and you are unwilling to make peace, then notify the elders of the dispute, along with your unwillingness to reconcile, and they will consider suspending you from the Supper. But if you want peace, and the situation is difficult, you need strength for the task. Take the Lord’s Supper, with the necessary reconciliation in mind. But having taken it, hasten to make peace. Do not let the sun go down on it.
At the same time, if a dispute arises in the course of the week, you know that this Supper is coming. Resolve the dispute before the day of communion arrives. Do not provoke the Lord to jealousy by postponing what you know to be your duty. But if the Supper brings something to mind, then take your nourishment. You will need the strength.
In short, let the Supper serve as a weekly deadline for all reconciliations, and let it also serve as an encouragement and impetus to future reconciliations attempted.