Ephesians 2:11-20 11 So remember that once you were Gentiles by physical descent, who were called “uncircumcised” by Jews who are physically circumcised. 12 At that time you were without Christ. You were aliens rather than citizens of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of God’s promise. In this world you had no hope and no God. 13 But now, thanks to Christ Jesus, you who once were so far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 Christ is our peace. He made both Jews and Gentiles into one group. With his body, he broke down the barrier of hatred that divided us. 15 He canceled the detailed rules of the Law so that he could create one new person out of the two groups, making peace. 16 He reconciled them both as one body to God by the cross, which ended the hostility to God.
17 When he came, he announced the good news of peace to you who were far away from God and to those who were near. 18 We both have access to the Father through Christ by the one Spirit. 19 So now you are no longer strangers and aliens. Rather, you are fellow citizens with God’s people, and you belong to God’s household. 20 As God’s household, you are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone.
In this time period of history where division seems to be the objective let us remember that in God's creation we were meant ot be one unified through the Creator. Our Savior, Jesus, came to restore the unity to a family that had split in to many camps. In the Epistle of Ephesians, Paul tells us that the church came into being to act as an instrument of this unity. When the church is being what it should be, what God calls us to be, then it is a place where the walls of suspicion, fear and mistrust are down, and no one is a stranger or an outcast. In the church, we’re called to make unity in Christ a real, living force, one that works actively against injustice, hatred and prejudice wherever we find it.
While we gather differently, we are still the CHURCH. The active hands, feet and voice of our Lord. May each of us live this call in every way possible. May we be the love, unity and peace God meant us to be today.
Almighty God, Creator and giver of all good bless me this day. Father, Loving Jesus, my heart aches when I see the angry divisions in our world and the pain and suffering they cause. My heart was raised up the other day as I witnessed many protesters and Presidential supporters gathered without incident in the city I love. Thank you Lord. But Father, you see so much more than I do—how your loving, unifying heart must ache. Make me an instrument of your peace. May the church be this instrument as well. Lord, forgive me of my sins and give me the courage to stand when I am called to stand for You. Father, I pray this in Your Son;'s name, Amen.
Meet the pastor
Rev. Pastor Carl Schreiber has been serving East Orrington Congregational Church (EOCC) since March 12, 2006