Ephesians 2:19f We Are Church Together!
Bible Background: Ephesians 2 is one of Paul’s most important chapters of writing. He reminds the church at Ephesus: a) we are saved by grace through faith, b) Christ has broken down the dividing walls between us and God and each other, c) Christ makes Jew and non-Jew and all humanity “one”!
Digging Deeper: 1. We live in divisive times, because divisions are as old as the human race. Chapter 2 of Ephesians is a much-needed word to orient our attention towards Christ and to re-orient our focus to what unites us rather than to what divides us. Name something we have in common with other Christians; with people of other religions; with all humanity:
2. Paul uses powerful images to show our dependence on Christ and our connectedness to each other. He describes how we are:
Citizens with the saints, rather than “strangers and aliens”.
Members of the household of God, rather than outsiders or just ‘visitors’.
Built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, as in, we have received faith which has been tried and tested and handed down to us!
With Christ Jesus as the cornerstone, the only solid foundation for life and faith!
Joined together into a holy temple in the Lord! God doesn’t just dwell in our individual hearts. God dwells in the community of believers.
3. Our ELCA, and our Ministry Planning Team uses the slogan “We are church together!” In the ELCA, that means that persons, congregations, synods (our geographical ‘groups’ of churches), colleges, seminaries, camps, missionaries, and partner churches are what makes us Christ’s body. We’re all in this together!
4. How would you describe what it takes to be church together? How do we help connect with each other, especially those who worship here alone? What do we do to build trust for real sharing? What might we do to engage each other deeply on issues of life, faith, values, beliefs? How willing are we to allow Christ to ‘make us one?’ And how do we grow close together while still making plenty of room for others to experience belonging as well?