August 28, 2020

Ephesians 2:15b-16

“…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.”

 

Are you divisive in some way and completely unaware of it?

“No way, I’m nice, I’m in unity with everybody!” might be my quick response. But is that really true? And is my idea of “unity” the same as God’s?

We’ve been looking this week at God’s reconciliation of a divided mankind through the death and resurrection of Christ. God’s ultimate goal is relationships of loving unity between all people, both within and beyond the Church. And as good American Christians who typically strive to be “nice and respectful” all around, it’s easy for us to assume we’ve got this unity thing pretty much figured out, right?  

It’s disturbing to discover otherwise.

My daughter spent several years working in South America. One day she and I were discussing how we hear from God, and she said she had just finished the best book she ever read on that topic. “But…” she added, “I don’t think it’s been translated into English yet, so you won’t be able to read it. The author is from Colombia.”  

Two thoughts immediately jumped into my head. The first one I’m embarrassed to admit: “Well…” I thought, “if it didn’t originate in America then how good can it really be?”

The second thought I’m pretty sure was from the Holy Spirit: “Let’s take another look at that first thought, shall we?” Holy [bleep]… Did I really just think that?  

I was shocked. My knee-jerk, unconscious reaction was one of utter American snobbery. Everything good must have started in the USA? South American culture isn’t good enough to produce “the best” of anything? I don’t actually believe that! Do I? What a proud, condescending, divisive way to think!

That was the first day I became aware of the subtle “walls of hostility” I had no idea I carried.

Have you ever examined your natural, unfettered reactions to people of other nations, races or political opinions? Be honest — what kinds of thoughts do you harbor that you would never say out loud? Ask God today to show you what kinds of division you may carry in your heart that you never knew were there, and let’s lay them at the cross together!

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