Saturday, June 6

One people

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4-6, Psalm 18, Ephesians 3

Ephesians 3:6–8 And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus. 7 By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News. 

8 Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ.

Observation

We read Scripture through our own lens, which includes what we’re going through right now.  This passage jumped out at me because of the current cry for racial equity and justice. 

Paul tells the Ephesians that God chose him to reveal His plan, a plan that was not revealed to previous generations.  What was this plan?  It was to include both Jews and Gentiles—everyone—“equally in the riches inherited by God’s children.”  The racial division between Jews and Gentiles was deep and centuries old, but now in Christ, both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of God’s blessing—“the endless treasures available to them in Christ.”  In Christ, the two become one people.  

Application

I’ve often said that racial reconciliation, unity, equity and justice are not just social issues; they are gospel issues.  The gospel is the good news that Jesus reconciled us to God and each other.  In Christ, we are one people.

We are one people by creation.  We have one God and Father who created us all.  We are, in the words of John Perkins, “one blood.”  We all bleed the same color, and we all come from the same source: our Father.

We are one people by redemption.  God’s creative intention of one people was marred by sin.  Our divisions, our prejudice, our injustice, our racism are sin.  God sent Jesus to save us, redeem us and change us, and to reconcile us to Him and each other.  This is the gospel of reconciliation.  To extend John Perkins’ metaphor, we are saved by “one blood”, the blood of Jesus that breaks down our walls and makes us one.

We are one people by destiny.  We know the end of the story.  “After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb.”  (Revelation 7:9)  We had better learn to love those who are different because we’re going to spend eternity together as one people!

One of the “endless treasures available to us in Christ” is the rich diversity of our family.  We are one people made up of every ethnicity and tribe and language.  I am enriched and made better by my relationships with those who are different from me.  What a treasure to be part of one people!   

Prayer: Lord, thank you for my diverse brothers and sisters of other races, ethnicities, languages, cultures and nations.  What a treasure!  Help us as believers to lead the way in celebrating Your one people.