Day 5

Unity in Christ

from the Ephesians reading plan

Ephesians 2:11-22, Psalm 118:22, Romans 12:1-8

BY Jasmine Holmes

When I was dating my husband Phillip, I could not go five minutes without making a crack on his home state. He liked to say that this is because I’m a Texan, and everything is bigger and more arrogant in Texas; I liked to say that it was because he’s from Mississippi, the state that is last in everything. One day, an older, wiser friend of mine took me aside during one of my classic Mississippi jabs and said, “Jasmine, you might live in Mississippi someday. You should respect the home of the man you love.”

I assured her that I would never live in Mississippi.

This story ends, predictably, with me living in Mississippi. And all of the little jabs I made about the state are now jabs I made about my own home. And what a foreign home it was when I first moved here—the land of the Deep South is full of customs this southwestern girl had zero experience in. Bubble rompers, monograms, and china-pattern hospitality have met this foreigner and taken her in. And now, she’s home.

My Texan-turned-Mississippian transformation has been radical, but of course it’s nowhere near as radical as the change Paul talks about in Ephesians 2:11–22. These Gentiles were once excluded from citizenship, not just in the physical Israel, but in the spiritual family—foreigners, not only in the geographical sense, but in an eternal sense (v.12). But now, through the covenant God made with us through Christ, we have been “brought near” to Him and one another (v.13); we are in the family of faith. Through His sacrifice, He made both groups, one, tearing down the “dividing wall” of hostility (v.14).

We are the Bride of Christ, and much like this bride has been welcomed into a brand new family and a brand new home, we have been welcomed into the family of faith, putting an end to the hostility that once separated us (v.16). We were once diametrically opposed to everything that our new family stood for, and now we have been brought near and united in peace (v.17). We are no longer foreigners and strangers, but members of God’s household.

I could wax eloquent about what it has meant for me to become truly at home in Mississippi, to say to my husband as Ruth once said to Naomi that “[his] people [are] my people” (Ruth 1:16), but the transformation into God’s family is even more radical because it captures the second part of Ruth’s promise: “your God will be my God.” Because of the covenant God made with us through the sacrifice of His Son, we have been invited to be members of a household of which Christ Himself is the cornerstone—meaning, this is a covenant that will never be broken because it is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets and Christ Himself, who is holding the entire thing together (Ephesians 2:20–22)

Through His atoning death on the cross, Christ has transformed us from hostile foreigners to citizens (v.19). And not just citizens, but family members. And not just family members, but members of one Body. May we learn to rejoice in this transformative and foundational truth as we draw near to our family of faith.

Post Comments (58)

58 thoughts on "Unity in Christ"

  1. Harriet Thomas says:

    What a word. I’m blessed in reading todays devotional. I constant reminder of what family is to God. I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior many years ago but I did not understand what it meant for me in my walk of life. I’ve been battling rejection but I am encouraging myself in today’s word. I am reminded of who my Father is and how He accepts me in His family of faith. With love, HT.

  2. Susan Lincks says:

    May I love everyone around me because they are my family in Christ.

  3. Jesse Simmons says:

    This is so timely for the unrest and complete lack of peace and unity plaguing our world today. I pray that God truly does begin breaking down the walls of hostility in our hearts and minds.

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