Our scripture this morning is Ephesians 2:13-22.
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.
Paul’s words to the church at Ephesus could have been written about us today, and they are certainly intended for our world. We have so divided ourselves it is often hard to see how we can all be the children of God. Replace the names of the groups Paul mentions – Jew, Gentile, Greek, Roman, slave, free – with any we know today – Christian, Muslim, American, Russian, democrat, republican – and we may hear his lessons more personally.
Paul tells everyone that they are loved by God, regardless of their background or situation. He reminds us that “you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God” (v. 22). Christ came to save us all and wants us to be part of God’s eternal family.
The choice is ours. Christ will return to gather those who have come to Him in repentance and bring them to the joy of salvation. No one will be dragged kicking and screaming into eternity against their will. However, in order to be saved we must say yes and actively follow Him, living out the call we have been given to make disciples of all nations.
Gracious God, help us to see how we are all alike rather than separate ourselves through differences that mean nothing in eternity. Bless us to go in Your name, sharing the love and forgiveness You offer to all. Amen.