Thursday, September 03, 2009

A New Community

Have you ever been on a flight with a first class section? I have several times, and without fail have felt the jealousy as I walk through this section on the front of the plane to the back with all the "commoners." The world of first class is a magical place, and of course if you aren't first class then by definition you are second class at best. The airlines don't call it that of course, but if you have flown coach then you understand the difference between the two sections.

In first class you can get food that actually tastes like food; in coach you are lucky to get peanuts from the 1990s. In first class you get a roomy chair and a moist towel to refresh yourself; in coach you are crammed together and forced to sit in your own sweat. The greatest offense takes place before the flight though. The flight attendant will pull a curtain shut between the sections, blocking the view to first class. After all, you can't let the riff raff in coach see what is going on in luxury!

We hate it when it happens to us, but the truth is that we can put dividing walls between ourselves and others all the time. Our society is great at division, whether it is between races, men and women, or young and old. It should not be this way in the church! One of the purposes of Jesus' death and resurrection was to bring together all of the groups normally separated by culture and human nature. Paul says this in Ephesians 2:

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.

Paul saw what Jesus accomplished on the cross and for him, that curtain was gone. No more is there separation between people; we have been united in Christ and we are a new community. That is why our love for one another is important. It reflects the amazing love Jesus had for us all. Our community is proof of our faith and a powerful witness to our world.

Pursue the purpose of community!