August 8 - Ephesians 2:11-13

Thursday, August 8, 2013

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) 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. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

One of humanity’s greatest sins is divisiveness. We separate in an attempt to weaken. Since the early days of Christianity, there have been those who attempt to draw a line between the ones who believe one way and others who might approach God in a different manner.

Nothing has changed. We continue to divide the Church into small pieces, reviling and ridiculing those who see things differently.

For Paul, he was dealing with those who were circumcised or not.  Many Gentiles had chosen circumcision in order to be like their Jewish/Christian brethren.  Paul reminds them that Jesus Christ gave his life in order to bring God’s love to everyone on earth.

The early Church refused to allow for differences in understanding. Its history is rife with death and imprisonment for any who might not follow the rules created by the Church for belief.  Many people were baptized simply to avoid torture.

The threat of excommunication from the church was enough to cause people to be obedient because if you were cast out from the church, you were also cast out from the community. Long before the Reformation, there were many who questioned the church’s stance on issues. They were burned at the stake, hanged, tortured and murdered to keep their beliefs quiet.

God’s Church is still on the move, reaching into regions of the earth that may not yet know him.  These people approach their faith very differently than those of us in the West. They interpret Scripture based on their background and their lives, seeing things differently than we see them, understanding the relationship with their Creator in different ways.

What will we do as the Global Church comes to us?

“In Christ Jesus, you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Jesus died so that all men could come to the throne of God. Will we come together?