“For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility… that he might create in himself one new man in place of two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing hostility. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,…Christ himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God but the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:14-16,18-22
I’ve recently had the privilege of gathering with sisters and brothers in Christ from around the world. I am not sure there is anything that exemplifies the unity of the Body of Christ more than does a room full of hundreds of different nationalities, generations, colors, religious and cultural backgrounds, all singing robust, harmonious praises that have been sung by saints through the centuries to the Lord of Peace, the Cornerstone, the Head of the body. When I think of racial tensions and denominational squabbles, I want to cry, “bring them to the cross!” Language barriers, education levels, blue collar-white collar, formal and street-plain, all are melted by Spirit-filled smiles and affection, unified in Jesus Christ when on our knees we pray together. Hues of skin tone and spiritual maturity blend into an exquisite masterpiece crafted by God’s loving hands, run through by a ribbon of Christ’s blood.
“Do not be surprised , brothers, that the world hates you. Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God. We love because he first loved us.” The church is dwindling in numbers in Europe and the U.K., yet has great power and influence because of the Spirit dwelling within. The world will know we are Christians by our love. The enemy would divide what only the church can present to the world as a picture of the reconciliation offered in our Savior. (1 John 3:13; 4:7,19; John 13:35)
“Beautiful Savior, Lord of the nations, Son of God and Son of man; Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor, Thou my soul’s glory, joy, and crown.” ~German, 17th century
Thank you, Lord of all, that You put hostility to death by Jesus’s victory at Calvary. Thank You for the oneness Your children enjoy, spanning time, distance, differences. All the nations You have made shall one day come and worship before You. Fill us now to love because, and as, You love us. (Psalm 86:9)