Unlike the World
“For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility.” Ephesians 2:14
We live in a world divided against itself. Our divisions come from many and various sources, but they are all a result of our sinful flesh. Our nation and our communities regularly see protests and cries of outrage over issues that face us. Sadly though, such divisions so easily creep into Christ’s Church and threaten our unity. In Luke 22, the evangelist notes “a dispute also arose among them,” to which Jesus responds, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority are called benefactors. But not so with you.”
Our Lord calls us to be different than the world and this difference begins with the understanding of the source of our unity and peace. The issue in the Church over the inclusion of the Gentiles threatened to fracture their unity and break the Church apart. St. Paul, like our Lord, would have none of that. “He [Christ] Himself is our peace, who has made us both one and broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility…that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 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.”
We have a message to proclaim that is so different from that of the world. Christ Himself is our peace. For in Him, in His Word, in His Body and Blood, we receive the peace of sins forgiven as the dividing wall of hostility is broken down as God and sinners are reconciled and as God makes the many one in Christ. For pastors and people, who are wearied of the walls that some would build within our congregation over things that are not related to the Church’s public confession, may we find comfort and strength in Christ, who is our peace. We see what is going in the world around us, struggles for power and position, but may it not be so among us. Rather may we find peace in Christ as He is present for His people in His precious gifts to forgive, strengthen and bless!
Prayer – O God, from whom come all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works, give to us, Your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, that our hearts may be set to obey Your commandments and also that we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may live in peace and quietness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan