Two Become One

OPENING PRAYER

Merciful God, show me areas where I hold prejudices or resentment against certain people. Help me to love others.

 

Read: EPHESIANS 2:11–22

11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

 

 

Reflect: THINK OF ALL THE THINGS THAT DIVIDE HUMAN BEINGS FROM ONE ANOTHER.

In the mind of the Jews, at the time Paul was writing, the world was divided into two main groups: Jews and Gentiles. For many Jews, their understanding of the Old Testament was that God was only interested in the Jewish nation.

After Jesus’ resurrection, it became more and more clear to the disciples that the good news of reconciliation with God through Christ was for everyone. We probably all have ideas that some people are beyond the reach of God’s grace. This passage clearly challenges those thoughts.

Let your mind ponder the devastating truth of the former state of these Gentile believers: they were separate, excluded, foreigners, without hope, without God and far away. This is the sobering truth about those who are not yet Christians.

Then, in Christ, the contrast is wonderful. Not only does Jesus bring reconciliation between people and God, but also between people. This is the new society that God is creating in his church. To what extent does your church show how the “dividing wall of hostility” between people has been broken down?

 

APPLY

Pray that in your locality and around the world people will know that you are Christians by your love (John 13:35).

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Dear Father, open my eyes to see others the way that You see them. Give me Your love for those with whom I come in contact.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
 

Terry Schneider