June 10, 2008

The Cross as Reconciliation

Ephesians 2:14-22

He himself is our peace, who … has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility…
Ephesians 2:14


Dividing walls of hostility are sometimes easy to see and even touch. The barrier between North and South Korea today is one painful example.

Some dividing walls of hostility are not so visible but are still very real. Many cities have invisible barriers between neighborhoods, and people feel very uncomfortable crossing them. Barriers between people of different political convictions often prevent any genuine, enriching communication among them. We all are trapped by dividing walls of hostility, perhaps more than we fully realize.

But the good news is that Jesus proclaims and makes possible a gospel of reconciliation. Jesus breaks down barriers between groups of people in astonishing ways.

One of the best parts of church life is not that the people in it are a lot like us. Precisely the opposite: the amazing thing about the church is that in it we meet people that we would never otherwise meet.

As you live before God’s face today, think about all the people near you that you are still divided from: the rich, the poor, the young, the old, the light-skinned, the dark-skinned.

How can your church and community today live out the good news that Jesus’ cross breaks down the dividing walls of hostility?

God of all creation, in a world so divided by culture, race, and generations, help us claim the reconciling power of the cross. Help us to be reconciling people in Jesus’ name. Amen.

About the author — John D. Witvliet

Dr. John D. Witvliet has served as a professor at Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary for the past 11 years, as well as serving as Director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. He and his wife, Charlotte, have four children.

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