“So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father.”
Living Room / Family Room
(click on the title above to listen to the sermon)
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. –Eph 2:13-14
We spent very little time in the living room of the house I grew up in. The living room was right inside the front door but most of our time was spent in the family room. The family room was less formal and somehow it felt more, well, familiar, more welcoming.
As we continue walking through the book of Ephesians this week, we hear about the ways the gospel of Christ breaks down dividing walls to bring people together. Jesus came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near..
Are you experiencing that peace? For many of us, that peace is experienced as we gather for worship. Walking into the sanctuary feels as familiar as walking into the family room at home.
For many others however, the church community feels like a club they are not sure they would be welcome to join. Others feel like it’s just not for them anymore. Last time they went to church, it didn’t connect. They did not find what they were looking for.
Ephesians reminds us that Christ is determined to bring near those who are far off and to break down the dividing walls between us.
Questions to Ponder/Discuss
1. What room in your home would you most closely identify with the feeling you have as you enter the church for worship? Is it the living room, the family room, the kitchen?
2. What can the church do to be more inviting? What can the church do to be more welcoming? How are those two things different from one another?
Look for at least one opportunity this week to help break down a dividing wall. How might you help to bring someone near?