But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God bythe Spirit.
· Why are selflessness and unity with other believers two keys to knowing and doing God's will?
· How does it feel to be a member of God's household?
· How can I make myself a better dwelling for God's Holy Spirit?
It's a little intimidating to think of ourselves as part of God's own household, right there with the apostles and all the prophets, isn't it? It's hard to think of ourselves in the same league as, say, Paul, John, Jeremiah or Isaiah. But that is exactly the truth: As Christians, we are all on the same playing field with none of us in a higher position than the other. And we are all united in one mission: to share God's love and the Good News of His Son, Jesus Christ. Individually, we are each a dwelling, a temple, holding God Himself in the form of the Holy Spirit. And collectively we joined together as members of one body, working to build God's Kingdom here on Earth.
Consider what The Message version says about the unified body of the Christian church: "No matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of. ... You are Christ's body--that's who you are! You must never forget this. Only as you accept your part of that body does your 'part' mean anything" (1 Corinthians 12:19 and 27). Jesus expects our faith to go beyond a one-to-one relationship with Him and into the realm of our community. He didn't intend for our faith to be entirely individualistic, but communal--impacting our neighbors in our own cities and towns, our own nation and beyond.
Lord, help me learn to act selflessly, not with my own good in mind, but for the good of my neighbors, with the ultimate goal of furthering your Kingdom on Earth. Amen.