September 11 Edevotional
Together” is our sermon series this month, and so this is what is on my mind and in my heart. Why do we come together to be the church? What is this gift called church, that we receive from God? How do we be the church together? We are studying the Epistle called Ephesians, one of the letters written to the new churches of the early first century. There are so many things to think about in this long letter.
Last Sunday we focused on the author’s definition of the power that is present at the core of the church. The power to tear down walls of division. Even the power to tear down some of the laws thought to be infallible, non-negotiable, established by God! Every wall of division, even, at times, a wall erected by God. Walls that lead to a setting apart, keeping separate, to prejudice, discrimination, all of them torn down as we are brought to the place of the cross and there, in the face of such a love, we realize that we are no different than any other being. It is the power of Peace. Not the peace of military might, or the peace of fear, but a peace beyond our understanding. We can no longer view anyone as the enemy or other than us.
There, I believe, is the definition of disciple. A disciple is one who is constantly being brought close to the liberating love of God, that tears down any and every wall of hostility. The disciples who gather together as the church are a living training ground for such a community of peace.
“Christ is our peace…With his body, he broke down the barrier of hatred that divided us. He canceled the detailed rules of the Law…He reconciled all as one body to God by the cross, ending the hostility…You are no longer strangers, [lonely, alien, or other], rather, you are fellow citizens with God’s people, and you belong to God’s household. (Ephesians 2)
This kind of wall- breaking peace is dangerous. Especially dangerous to ruling power that relies on keeping us divided. Dangerous even to our religious institutions that rely on structures of oppression founded on Scriptural passages viewed as binding and unchanging. Christ is our peace, breaking down all of these barriers to making us one. I want to ground myself in that kind of peace. I want to belong to that household/church, being built up into a dwelling place of God’s Spirit.
Pastor Sherrie Lowly