Scripture: Ephesians 2:11-22
Observation: Paul shares how two groups of people – the Jews and the Gentiles – can now live together in peace and unity because of Christ Jesus, who reconciled them through death on the cross.
Application: When I was in fourth grade, I was the president of an exclusive club known as the “Beanie Baby Club.” (I’ll give you one guess what we talked about.) We met during recess and talked about and carefully played with our favorite Beanie Babies with the tags on since our parents told us they were going to be worth thousands some day. (Still waiting on that to pay off…although a quick Google search showed me that the Peace Bear is selling for $10,000! Is this real life?! I need to dig out my Peace Bear and his perfectly preserved tag!)
The best part of the “Beanie Baby Club” was its exclusivity. Everyone (and by everyone, I mean the nine other girls in my class) wanted to be part of it, but only a few actually were. Everyone who wasn’t part of it started another club, known as the “TY Club.” And, in the way only fourth grade girls can do, the members of the two clubs did not get along. I don’t remember specifics, but I know that eventually all of our parents were called in for a meeting to discuss why we so “catty” for 10-year-olds. Yikes.
We didn’t get along. We weren’t united. And we definitely weren’t all part of one family.
Historically, the Jews and Gentiles didn’t get along either. But, God had a plan to reconcile them. That plan was Jesus.
“For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us…Together, as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.” (verse 14, 16)
Because of Christ’s death, we’re all part of an exclusive club. We’re unified. We’re all members of God’s family.
So - are we living as members of a unified family?
Unity means loving each other, deeply, selflessly, consistently. Unity means showing each other grace over and over. Unity means encouraging one another. Unity means addressing any bitterness or resentment that rises up. Unity means withholding judgment. Unity means being for each other rather than against each other.
Let’s live unified lives together.
Prayer: God, thank you for choosing me to be a member of your family. Thank you for inviting me in and giving me a place. I pray I can live with others in unity. I pray I’ll be full of love, hope, and grace, and stand against any bitterness or resentment welling up in my life. Amen.