wORDS OF ENCOURAGEMent

JULY 18, 2024


Scripture

 

“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone.” Ephesians 2:19-20

 

Reflections

 

Have you ever felt like an outsider?

 

If you’re a follower of Jesus Christ, you are not an outsider.  You belong as a part of the household of God.  You have family members; people to call “brother” and “sister”.  You have been set apart in holy baptism for a special role as a part of God’s special people.

 

In early years, there was tension and conflict within the Church.  Those of Jewish background considered those of Gentile background to be outsiders.  They were insisting that the Gentiles must first be circumcised to be considered a part of the community.  The Gentiles men did not find this to be an appealing proposition!  As we find in Acts 15, the followers of Jesus committed the matter to prayer and discerned that circumcision would no longer be necessary to be considered a part of the community.  Baptism was understood to be the means by which people were included as a part of the community.

 

Today, most of the followers of Jesus do not come from a Jewish background.  Circumcision is no longer necessary.  We are citizens of the kingdom by means of baptism.

 

Prayer

 

Lord God, thank you for receiving me as your child, a member of your household.  Use me as one who breaks down dividing walls and heals hostilities within your people.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Full Reading: Ephesians 2:11-22


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