By Emily Hylden
A Reading from Ephesians 2:11-22
11 So then, remember that at one time you gentiles by birth, called “the uncircumcision” by those who are called “the circumcision”—a circumcision made in the flesh by human hands— 12 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. 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 into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us, 15 abolishing the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, 16 and might reconcile both to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. 17 So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near, 18 for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then, you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, 20 built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone; 21 in him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.
Can you imagine a war within your body? Maybe you’re very familiar with the feeling — your mind fighting your body, or your better angels against your lesser demons, or your self facing off against a growing baby, or even just your young perception against your aging cells and joints.
Despite the inborn war between Jews and Gentiles — the “natural” hostility — we learn that in Jesus’ body, all tribes are united, all peoples are made one, all creation is fulfilled in harmony. It must sometimes be a painful unity, and haven’t we all experienced that, too? But it is also a beacon of hope, for peace among our neighbors and families, and even for peace within each of ourselves.
Julian of Norwich often reminds us that our experience, our senses, our perceptions, are skewed. We do not see the whole truth of reality in God. May we be encouraged that our restless feelings of war and dissension are not the whole story and do not reflect God’s truth of overwhelming, everlasting peace. I wonder how we might live into the reality of the peace we believe, even if we do not witness it or feel it always in our experience.
The Rev. Emily R. Hylden resides with her priest husband and three sons in Lafayette, Louisiana. Find her podcasting at Emily Rose Meditations.
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Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer
Today we pray for:
The Diocese of Luapula – The Church of the Province of Central Africa
Christ Church Georgetown, Washington, D.C.