Tuesday 1 June, 2021
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.
One of the most beautiful and precious things that I love about living in Australia is that we are a nation that consists of many cultures, traditions and origins. Apart from the First Nations people, we all arrived here mostly by transportation of some means or by birth. I was born in Australia and I have really enjoyed having friends that have a different cultural heritage to me. I love learning about the different ways of doing things; preparing food, rites of passage, language and even simple customs within a person’s home. When I am at church I often look around to see a sea of people from various backgrounds, ages and cultures. I am amazed that God has brought us together as a congregation to worship, support and encourage one another. We are one in Christ, we are Christians.
In this passage, Paul first reminds the Ephesians that they were once separated from God, many of them did not even belong to Israel or believe in the Old Testament promises. Jews and Gentiles were separated but now they have been brought together as one. Verse 19 “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household”. Christ’s sacrificial death abolished the barrier between.
Dear God, thank you for our birth heritage and culture. Thank you that no matter who we are or where we have come from that you allow us to come together as one, as a congregation of believers in one faith that is you, Jesus. Thank You that we live in an amazing country Australia that allows us to come together to worship you.
Written by Susannah Ware
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