Learning to Live… Through Jesus, Our Neighbours and Each Other

GOD’S NEW COMMUNITY

On this Sunday, text from Ephesians (2.11-22) expresses some major affirmations concerning the church.  But it begins with Jesus who is our peace.  Paul shares  the five ways that Jesus is peace. All of them center on the word “one.”

First, in verse 15, Jesus makes one new humanity. It says he “has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.”

Second, Jesus makes us, in verse 16, one body.

Third, we discover, this time in verse 18, is that we have access to the Father in one Spirit.  It is the Spirit who teaches us the truth about Christ and empowers us to live the way of Christ.

Fourth, Jesus makes us, in verse 19, into one household.

And the fifth thing Jesus makes, in verse 21, is one holy temple, one dwelling place for God.

This is Paul’s vision for the church. It’s the place where there is harmonious difference and costly unity and constant reconciliation and never-failing abundance and everything finally becomes worship.  Do you see it?

 

When I look at the blood
all I see is love, love, love.
When I stop at the cross
I can see the love of God.

But I can’t see competition.
I can’t see hierarchy.
I can’t see pride or prejudice
or the abuse of authority.
I can’t see lust for power.
I can’t see manipulation.
I can’t see rage or anger
or selfish ambition.

I can’t see unforgiveness.
I can’t see hate or envy.
I can’t see stupid fighting
or bitterness, or jealousy.
I can’t see empire building.
I can’t see self-importance.
I can’t see back-stabbing
or vanity or arrogance.

I see surrender, sacrifice, salvation,
humility, righteousness, faithfulness, grace, forgiveness,
love! Love … love…

When I stop! … at the cross
I can see the love of God.    [Geoffrey Birtill]