So then, remember that at one time you were Gentiles in the flesh — called “the uncircumcised” by those called “the circumcised,” which is done in the flesh by human hands. At that time you were without Christ, excluded from the citizenship of Israel, and foreigners to the covenants of promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility. In his flesh, he made of no effect the law consisting of commands and expressed in regulations, so that he might create in himself one new man from the two, resulting in peace. He did this so that he might reconcile both to God in one body through the cross by which he put the hostility to death. He came and proclaimed the good news of peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole building, being put together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you are also being built together for God’s dwelling in the Spirit.
Reflection: We all live life vertically and horizontally – that is how our identity works. Vertically, our identity describes where we stand in relation to God. Horizontally, our identity describes where we stand in relation to other humans. Vertically, in Christ, Christians are now able to dwell with God. This means, horizontally, we can dwell uniquely with other humans – in particular, others ‘in Christ’. In Ephesus, this was seen in the remarkable truth that enemies – Jews and Gentiles – could now live in peace (vs.14). This was unheard of in those days. But it is the reality of God’s people: those naturally divided by human markers are now united to each other in a new humanity with no divisions – no divisions of colour, education, class, employment, geography. Why? Because we are both ‘in Christ’: the same in sin and the same in salvation!
Question: Think about God’s people – how might we best express what this ‘new humanity’ looks like as we meet?
Prayer: Dear Father, you have created for yourself a new household – one where there is no division. Thank you that this household is created, organised and run by Jesus. Amen.