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I Am Invited Close - Wholly Loved - September 24

  • 2021 Sep 24

I Am Invited Close

By Jessica Brodie

“For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.” Ephesians 2:18

When my daughter was born, her two-year-old brother fiercely worried she’d somehow replace him, as if my love was only big enough for one child.

One day, as I nursed her, he approached with a baby blanket and stuffed bear, curled up on my other side, and snuggled in. “Two babies,” he told me solemnly. He wanted in, too.

“Yes, two babies,” I said, stroking his soft hair. Our meaning was clear: I had enough love for both of them. “Two babies” became our mantra whenever he felt insecure or jealous. Some days, I’d lift my daughter into my arms, scooch her to my right hip, then gather him up on my left so I could carry them both.

Today’s verse reminds me of those days. In the early church, the apostle Paul understood his call was to spread the Gospel to both Jews and Gentiles, two people groups that were historically foes. But like a jealous toddler fearful of losing his mother’s love, many Jewish Christians resented the thought of Gentiles—whom they considered unclean and unworthy—becoming part of their heavenly family.

Many Gentiles, too, wanted nothing to do with a people who’d lorded their cleanliness and favor over them, a people with foreign customs and philosophies who despised and looked down on them.

But in this chapter, Paul explains they are rivals no longer, now reconciled through Christ. The blood of Christ brings them both to Father God as one “new humanity” (v. 15), forever breaking down walls of long-standing animosity and division. For through Jesus, Paul writes, “We both have access to the Father by one Spirit.”

In Jesus, these diverse groups became one. In Him, the same Holy Spirit settled in, igniting their hearts.  They both had access to Father God in Christ. God’s love was big enough for them both and, indeed, had always been big enough.

Sometimes we worry that we’re unworthy, our sins are too dark, or God, who sees through our façade, doesn’t want us anymore. We compare ourselves to others and imagine God only wants that woman over there, the one with the “perfect” prayer posture who surely hasn’t committed the sins we have. But God knows us all, created us all, and welcomes us all. His love is big enough for us all.   

We are all welcomed near, one in Christ. 

Jessica Brodie is an award-winning journalist and a member of the Wholly Loved Ministry team. She’s also an author who currently serves as the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism. She is the author of More Like Jesus: A Devotional Journey (2018) and editor of Stories of Racial Awakening: Narratives on Changed Hearts and Lives of South Carolina United Methodists (2018), both from her newspaper’s Advocate Press. She also writes contemporary women’s fiction, represented by Bob Hostetler of The Steve Laube Agency. Her novel The Memory Garden won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ 2018 Genesis Contest. She has a faith blog at JessicaBrodie.com.

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