August 9 - Ephesians 2:14-18

Friday, August 9, 2013

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 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, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

Grace, peace and love are extraordinary gifts. Jesus Christ came and preached peace, both to those in Jerusalem and those who were far away. Sometimes I am astounded by the fact that one man came to such a small region of this immense planet and his message of peace continues to be proclaimed throughout the earth.

No matter who it is that hears the message, they are given access to the Father through the Spirit because of the work Jesus Christ did on the cross. It does not matter who hears it. Paul’s message in these verses is that everyone is the same and everyone is welcome.

Throughout my lifetime, I have listened as various denominations were listed as non-Christian. Since the denomination itself was derided, the faith of anyone affiliated with it was also suspect.  It has happened over and over again and will probably continue long after I’m gone.

Jesus’ purpose for dying on the cross, Paul says, was to create one new humanity out of the two groups (Jews and Gentiles) and make peace.  Not only has that not happened, but we have managed to splinter his church to an even greater degree, each belief structure demanding that they are the one true belief and that all others must agree with them or be condemned to hell.

Jesus’ peace was intended to “put to death their hostility.”

To call ourselves Christians, we must come to a complete understanding of Jesus’ teaching regarding peace.  He died so that the earth might come to know his love and peace. We live because of this sacrifice and we have hope for eternal life.

Be a peacemaker. Be a peace bringer.