Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: https://sothrichfield.podbean.com
Ephesians 2:11-22 (NIV)
Jew and Gentile Reconciled Through Christ
11 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)— 12 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. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 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, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. 19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
What relationship in your life still has walls to be knocked down?
The mandatory separation and quarantines due to this virus have caused loneliness and isolation. Right now there is a social distancing between people out of fear of getting sick, a barrier that prevents us to gather and worship or even minister to each other. We are far apart. Lent is a reminder of how far I was separated from You due to my sin. Your blood brought me near. By the cross, You destroyed the barriers of the law that separated people. But through Jesus, we have common access to the Father by the Holy Spirit. Thank You for the peace and reconciliation that Jesus brings. Lord, by Your death on the cross You brought unity between all who believe in You. All who believe in You are joined together to form Your Holy temple and be a part of Your body. Together the body is strong and can do amazing things through Your Spirit. Teach Your body to reach out to others who are far away from You, and to people who are afraid, grieving, lonely or sick. Give them Your Hope of salvation through the cross. Help me to trust that where I may see barriers, You see unity. Allow me to respond in unity and peace to build Your kingdom even during this time where I am physically separated from others. Amen.