“So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called “the uncircumcision” by those who are called “the circumcision”—a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands— remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 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. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. 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. 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. In him, the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.” (NRSV)
In Jesus’ time there were Jews and then everyone else, lumped under the heading “Gentile.” Jew and Gentile together represented everyone, everybody. Jesus’ ministry was about “creating one new humanity,” grounded in the unconditional love of God. Yet, it seems, Christianity’s greatest focus is deciding who does not deserve to be included under the “humanity” umbrella, i.e. playing God. And, that humanity’s greatest skill set is building walls that divide, both with words and materials. And our greatest sin is doing it all “in God’s name.” As a people, nearly 2000 years removed from that event, it seems we may have learned nothing.
We are so much better than that! Building the bridges over which God’s love for all, revealed and modeled in Jesus, can freely flow is why God sent his Son into the world.
As a collection of persons at HCC, we are so much better than that! We do our best to show our community and our neighbors what bridges of love for all look and feel like. We offer them a safe space to live out their faith, wrestle with their questions, and be their true selves, a community of Jesus’ followers “built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.” In time, more and more people will want to walk across these bridges we are building! Praise be to God!
Be a blessing to someone today!