19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
What a wonderful passage to read on this day when new members join our church! When Paul wrote these words, he was addressing those who were Jewish and therefore formerly were outside of God’s covenant with his chosen people. But Jesus Christ has brought near all who were once far away. He is our peace, making the two one and destroying barriers that used to exist between groups of people. Jesus has reconciled us all to God in the cross.
It’s a joy to welcome new members into the fellowship of the church. It’s a joy to call them friends and our brothers and sisters in Christ. We can never fully realize the hope that we should all become one in Christ. All too often we get stuck in petty quarrels and wanting one’s own way. We hear about shootings in churches, where arguments escalate into violence and heartbreak.
God’s vision is that we should be fellow citizens with God’s people, and members of God’s household. God wants us to join together and become a holy temple in the Lord. Together God wants us to be knit together to become a place where God may dwell in us. I pray that, to the best we are able, that this will happen for us in Claridon. God’s peace be with you.
I pray for all who feel disenfranchised and cut off from you and other believers. I pray for our churches that they may become havens of peace in the midst of a darkened world. I pray for all who profess faith in Jesus Christ, that we may persevere against forces of wrong to care for one another in good ways, to the glory of your name. Make us one, Lord, in Jesus Christ. Amen.