Thursday, March 7, 2013

Wall-Buster

In Ephesians 1:10, Paul summarizes the reason behind Christ’s coming to earth as to bring all things together, both heavenly things and earthly things, in Him. Christ has brought all things together, creating a new Kingdom for us to walk through in our daily lives. The Kingdom of heaven, the eternal Kingdom of our Father, is here on this earth now for us. We are to live lives which spread the word and works of this Kingdom.

In Ephesians 2, we see another dividing wall breaking down. Paul talks to the Gentiles in Ephesus, reminding them they were cut off from the covenant of promise. This covenant was given in Genesis 12 to Abraham. God promised Abraham He would bless all people through him—that promise is being fulfilled now in us. Christ brought near those who were far away and gave peace to the Jews who were already near.

An important point here is Paul makes it clear the Jews needed Jesus as well. They had forgotten to become a blessing to the world and were instead becoming focused on man-made laws and traditions. Their religion was getting in the way of what God wanted to do through them. Jesus is bigger than traditions, He is bigger than religion, and just like the veil in the Temple was torn in two, the dividing wall between man-made groups is torn down by the resurrected Savior. His love overflows the walls we create. He also took away the need to be at-odds or antagonistic towards one another because Christ makes peace. He is always our example and is showing us a better, more peaceful way to live.

Too often we settle in to our cliques and forget to continue to reach out to new people. When we make new friends, our life is blessed by them. When we add new people to our groups, our groups are made better, more diverse, and more unique. Life isn’t meant to be lived in a bubble, in a clique, or in exclusivity. Instead, we need to be modeling Christ’s wall-busting love in our daily activity.

Coffee is a passion of mine. When you add the perfect amount of ground coffee to the right amount of hot water, magic happens. Ground coffee by itself isn’t very good. It is bitter and basically useless. Hot water can make you gag. It isn’t refreshing and no one drinks it by itself. However, these two elements joined together make a new thing which blesses my morning.

In the same way, God took the Israelites, a group which had become stagnant and unwilling to move beyond man-made legalism and brought in the Gentiles, a group cut off from the covenants and without any knowledge of God, and made them into something new. For too long the "people of God" thought their status was an exclusive right. They thought they had punched their ticket to escape this life into a new status in the next. God is concerned with this life, and with blessing all people. This new creation--the Church-- is God’s poem, as Ephesians 2:10 says in the Greek, it exists to bless the world in the ways God had planned from the beginning.

Be a blessing. Live a life focused on your status as on mission for an eternal Kingdom which you can experience here and now. Break down walls because of the walls that have been broken down for you. Most importantly, be filled with love that can’t be contained by rules or restrictions or religion.

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About Drew

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A follower of Jesus, trying to build myself and others up from the inside out.