Bringing People Together

There is a lot of talk about unity these days. Many calls are going out about how everyone needs to be respected, validated and cared for. Parade after parade is being hosted with people of all different creeds, sexual orientations, backgrounds, beliefs and ethnicities proclaiming that they are proud of who they are. They want to be acknowledged. They want to be treated fairly. They want to be accepted.   People have been striving for this goal since the world began, but it seems that we just keep inventing ways of hating one another. Sadly, it seems that there is something very satisfying to the human soul when others are seen as inferior. We are excellent at pointing out people’s limitations or deficiencies or explaining why some group should be viewed/treated worse than others.   Once upon a time there were two types pf people who had a big dividing wall between them. They condemned each other. They dismissed each other. They gave each other dirty looks. They even mocked one another. They often did everything that they could to be separate from each other. As the years passed, it appeared that the people who belonged to each of these groups could never belong to the same group. Then a mystery was revealed. A way for people from each of these groups to no longer feel hostility towards each other. A way for what was dividing them to be removed.   What happened?   The Bible explains what happened when some of the people from each of these groups (Jews and Gentiles), came to faith in 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. – Ephesians 2:14-16   Wow! Let’s acknowledge what happened:  

  • Jesus became their peace.
  • Jesus made the two groups one.
  • Jesus destroyed any barrier that was between them.
  • Jesus caused the hostility between them to cease (by sacrificing himself for both groups).
  • Jesus brought about peace between them.

  Perhaps you sometimes look at different people from different groups and think to yourself that they could never enjoy peace, or share love, or build one another up.   But there is something about Jesus……   When Jesus enters into someone’s life, people who were radically different, find themselves on extremely important common ground. It is the ground of the forgiven. It is the ground of those who are dearly loved children of God. It is the ground of being destined to spend all eternity with God. It is the ground of realizing that they are not better than each other, but all sinners, forgiven by grace. It is the ground of coming together and becoming more like Jesus.   Of course, not every Jew and Gentile has experienced the reconciliation that Paul wrote about in the second chapter of Ephesians, but millions have, and God is not finished. He will continue to show that there are no enemies or adversaries who can’t be united at the foot of the cross. He will continue to show that people, no matter their differences can find important things in common when they have been forgiven by Christ.   I know that one day there will be a “parade” of sorts in Heaven to celebrate what Jesus has done. How do I know?   Just read about this glorious picture from Revelation chapter 7:   9 After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” 11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying: “Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!”     For Jesus,   Rob  

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