March 21

 
Good morning!

Today’s scripture: Ephesians 2:11-15, 19-22  The Message 

But don’t take any of this for granted. It was only yesterday that you outsiders to God’s ways had no idea of any of this, didn’t know the first thing about the way God works, hadn’t the faintest idea of Christ. You knew nothing of that rich history of God’s covenants and promises in Israel, hadn’t a clue about what God was doing in the world at large. Now because of Christ—dying that death, shedding that blood—you who were once out of it altogether are in on everything.The Messiah has made things up between us so that we’re now together on this, both non-Jewish outsiders and Jewish insiders. He tore down the wall we used to keep each other at a distance. He repealed the law code that had become so clogged with fine print and footnotes that it hindered more than it helped. Then he started over. Instead of continuing with two groups of people separated by centuries of animosity and suspicion, he created a new kind of human being, a fresh start for everybody.That’s plain enough, isn’t it? You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.

 

 

My entire theology (study of God) and philosophy of life revolves around the fact that community is necessary and we belong to each other.  That perspective alone navigates how I live each moment. It also navigates how I see God in the world.  In order to see God, I must be in community and recognize that God takes on human flesh to be in community with us.  This is why Jesus is so dang important to me….God in human form, love in human form who continues to love on other humans.   There are no outsiders or insiders…the rules shift by the community as long as we care for each other.  This is what the Ephesians passage is about. Before the church in Ephesus came together, there were Jews and non Jews.  There were insiders and outsiders.  There were lots of rules around what to eat and how to dress and how to live.  But then these letters appear to the church that say, wait a minute.  We have to realize something.  God is in the people.  Jesus came and those boundaries disappeared. Instead, we have to take of each other.

 

We belong to each other.  You belong here with us.

 

Here’s the issue…it is not what culture is telling us.

We are given images that tell us that we need to be on our own…rugged and individual.  We can pull ourselves up and be out there like the lone ranger to make things happen.  If we just had the right stuff….
And the right successful outfits and enough money…and that one laundry detergent…and the right car….THEN we will be happy and satisfied.  This is what the message is around us.
And it can’t be the message any longer if we are to really spend time in Lent and be followers of Jesus.  We are who we have…in all of it’s messiness, tough conversations, active listening, and truth telling.  We belong to each other.  We are each other’s resources and community.  We are each other’s heart moments and long talks and accountability.  We get to spend time in sadness and joy with one another.  Opening ourselves up is scary but it is the only way to find out God in each other, true and grace filled.  We are what we have been searching for and yearning for and waiting for.
We can’t forget this. It is the most Christian and most counter cultural thing that we can do…to claim one another.  To step in and sit with.  To walk alongside.  To weep and laugh.  To just hold one another.  To create space for one another.  To just be and listen and talk and….well, you get the picture.
So reach out today.  Don’t live in isolation.  Connect in some form.
Peace,
C
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