“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. ” (Ephesians 2:11 – 12)
When I read the opening verses to this passage, beloved reader, I had to admit to being a little put off on behalf of the Gentile Ephesians. Paul describes accurately but with little regard for sensitivity and delicacy what their situation was, in regards to being looked upon by the Divine. But then to Paul anyone is lost and out of luck if they are not in relationship to the Divine. He would, actually, be just as indelicate talking about Jews, the circumcised who rejected Christ. Paul was not often one to adhere to social niceties.
“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.” (Verses 13 – 16)
However social niceties or not, he makes a compelling argument for not letting background and upbringing divide humanity. Oh make no mistake, beloved reader, what Paul says about the Jews and the Gentiles goes for all members of humanity; and is especially pointed when talking about divisions along cultural and nationality lines. Let me emphasis that again. Any division that sets apart any one group of humanity from another – has no validity under the Eyes of the Divine.
“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.” (Verses 17 – 20)
I cannot describe to you, beloved reader, the pain I felt when I realized the magnitude of animosity and hatred that existed between members of humanity – simply because of genetics that contributed to skin tone and other physical features. The rose and lilac are equally beautiful to me. Yet in appearance they are so different. Amongst species of dogs and cats there are genetic difference that at first glance make it surprising that Chihuahuas and Great Danes are dogs, and that Sphynx and Persian are both cats. But that is a tangent that does not need to be explored. If your heart, soul, and spirit is filled with the compassion and acceptance of the Divine – you know what I mean. If not, then any example, metaphor, analogy, and argument would be lost on you.
“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.” (Verse 21)
All members of humanity have been created to hold the spark of the Divine, and may we all live in harmony and peace. Shalom & Selah!