So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near, for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God.
Ephesians 2:17-19 NRSV
God’s purpose and longing for his creation has always been that we might not only be recipients of his great love and peace, but that we might be his partners in bringing that love and peace to others.
Love and peace were brought together in the coming of the Messiah into the world. Prophets had envisioned it, angels announced it, and it had become a reality! In the last night of Jesus’ earthly ministry, love and peace were again brought together in powerful symbolism and truth – an example, a command, a promise and a gift (John 13:12- 14:27cf). Even in the midst of anxiety and suffering, life could be filled with love and peace.
Paul knew that this was an imperative need for Christians in the highly stratified and polarized first century, and he also knew that God, who loved them all, had already brought this about in Christ so that it could become their new way of life. Those who had been “far apart” had been “brought near”. God had proclaimed peace to both and they no longer were strangers, foreigners, aliens, but fellow Christians, and members of God’s household!
Today we, too, live in a highly polarized and stratified world, but each of us can be Christ’s love and peace as we reach out to others who are unlike us, as we listen to them, learn from them, live and witness Christ’s love with them and be his instrument of bringing peace and love to all.
Dear Lord, please help me see how I can join you in bringing Christ’s love and peace to those who are “far away” rather than being a barrier to them. Strengthen my resolve to follow this vision so that your kingdom might come here on earth as it is in heaven.