One with God
By Joseph Andrews of Independence, MO, USA
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. —Ephesians 2:14–16 NRSV
It was such a simple task—making a table lamp pad to protect the furniture on which the lamp stood. First, I needed a pattern. It had to be exact. I took careful measurements before I cut the piece of wood to size. I sanded and polished it well. I allowed for drying time between applying the three coats of varnish. Finally, the project was complete. I stood back to look—perfect!
A thought came—Jesus is the pattern for our lives. We each may have experienced life differently and lived in diverse cultures; we may have flaws and tiny cracks. But the pattern of Jesus’ life allows us collectively and individually to develop the spirituality of oneness described in Ephesians.
Careful study helps us in our discipleship. We adopt spiritual practices, cut bad habits from our lives. We sand, polish, and patiently allow curing time. With the glow of his example for our lives, we become one in Christ Jesus.
Prayer for Peace
God of the perfect and imperfect, help us keep our eye on the pattern. Help us be more like Jesus every day. As different as we are from one another, may all of us find common ground in the peace of Jesus Christ.
Spiritual Practice: Welcoming Unity in Diversity
Meditate on Unity in Diversity. Create a large circle with your arms. See and feel the diverse people God invites inside the sanctuary of Christ’s peace represented by this circle.
Who is easiest to welcome? Whom do you struggle to include? Confess the dividing walls between you and people too different or “challenging” to invite into your spiritual home. Ask God to forgive and heal barriers that keep us from loving one another.
Today, God, flawed as we are, we unite in our diversity and readiness to serve.