May 16, 2006

A Place to Belong

Ephesians 2:11-22

You are no longer foreigners ... but fellow citizens ... and members of God's household. Ephesians 2:19


People tend to be tribal. We associate with others like us, but we tend to avoid those who are different.

Jesus breaks down walls of tribalism. He brings into his church people who are different from each other. Jesus calls Jews and Gentiles into God's family. Jesus calls people from every racial and national background. Jesus calls women and men, boys and girls. Jesus calls rich and poor. Jesus calls people who have different political convictions. (Among his first disciples, Matthew was a collaborator with the Romans who occupied Israel, while Simon the Zealot was an anti-Roman extremist.) Jesus shatters every social barrier that divides us.

One of the supreme benefits of salvation is a sense of belonging: you belong to God, and you belong to his church. If you are from a background that's different from most people in your local church, you still belong to the fellowship of believers as much as they do. If you are a brand-new Christian, you are just as much a part of the church as longtime members are. If you trust Jesus, you belong.

The church is not an elite social club but a spiritual fellowship. Our unity is not based on social similarity. We are united by Jesus Christ through the teaching of his prophets and apostles. We are all fellow citizens and members of God's household. We belong.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for removing our divisions and making us part of your church. Help me to sense your welcome and extend that same welcome to others. In your name, Amen.

About the author — David Feddes

Dr. David Feddes is pastor of Family of Faith Church and provost of Christian Leaders Institute, which supports mentor-based ministry training through online courses. David is also adjunct missiologist for Crossroad Bible Institute, which provides biblical distance education to more than 40,000 people in prison. Previously he served as broadcast minister for the Back to God radio program, reaching people in more than fifty countries. David earned his Ph.D. in intercultural studies from Trinity International University, Deerfield, IL. He and his wife, Wendy, have nine children (one in heaven).

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