[Brothers and sisters:]
You were at that time without Christ,
estranged from the community of Israel
and strangers to the covenants of promise;
having no hope and without God in the world.
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off
have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
For he is our peace.
Through his flesh,
he broke down the dividing wall of hostility
and made both one.
He abolished the law with its commandments and legal claims,
that he might create in himself one new humanity in the place of the two,
thus making peace,
and might reconcile both with God,
in one Body, through the cross,
putting that hostility to death by it.
And he came and preached peace to you who were far off
and peace to those who were near,
for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.
That is why you are no longer strangers and foreigners
but fellow citizens with the saints
and members of the household of God,
having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets,
with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.
Through him the whole structure is held together
and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord;
in him you also are being built together
into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
I will hear what God the LORD proclaims;
for he proclaims peace to his people and to his saints;
but not let them return to folly.
Indeed, his salvation is near to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.
Mercy and truth are met together;
justice and peace have kissed.
Truth springs out of the earth,
and righteousness looks down from heaven.
Yes, the LORD will give good things;
our land will yield its fruit.
Justice will walk before him,
and will make his steps a path.
“Gird your loins and light your lamps
and be like those who wait for their master’s return from a wedding,
ready to open the door immediately when he comes and knocks.
Blessed are those servants
whom the master finds awake when he arrives.
Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself,
have them recline at table, and proceed to serve them.
And if he comes in the second or third watch
and finds them awake,
blessed are those servants.”
Reflection for Today – On Ephesians
“For he is our peace.”
These words are a great comfort to me in times of turmoil and trouble. I pray that they will be the same for you.
Of course, much of the turmoil we encounter is of our own doing, especially when it is between us and others (as it is in this passage). Kevin Baker in his article “Wrecking Crew” has this to say:
In Ephesians we read that Christ has “broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.” It’s difficult to understand how this can happen, especially today, when hostility appears to be the bread and butter of human relating and living. But we know that we have helped to build walls of hostility. We’ve built many of them not out of bricks and mortar, but out of the raw material of sin and division. Then we’ve cemented them with the mortar of name-calling, labeling and prejudice.
But though we are responsible for these things, Christ can still work to break down the walls we have built between each other. I recommend your reading the entire piece, which can be found here.
Quote for Today
“Peace is not something you wish for; It’s something you make, Something you do, Something you are, And something you give away.” – Robert Fulghum