What does peace really look like? How do you take two groups of people that are radically different from each other and get them to see eye-to-eye? Think about it. If one group of people believes that a certain act–lets say eating a certain type of food–literally makes a person unclean and unable to come into God’s presence, then how could that group of people possibly accept another group of people that eats that food and consider them an equal before God? It seems impossible, doesn’t it?
That is the problem that the early church faced. Jews considered themselves to be God’s chosen people and the law of Moses marked a clear boundary around them to show the world who was in and who was out of God’s Kingdom. When the Holy Spirit showed up among the Gentiles–without the Gentiles obeying the Law–it created a great deal of hostility and confusion among the Jewish people. Of course it did!
We still deal with these same issues today. Every cultural group that calls itself Christian has created its own version of what it means to look and act like a good Christian. When two groups come together that have differing opinions about this–both backed up by scripture–then sparks fly and walls of hostility are built. Churches split. People are hurt.
The Apostle Paul reminds us in Ephesians 2:11-22 that Jesus broke down those walls of hostility. He has taken the two groups and made them one. How did he do that? How does this work? How can we know peace in our church and in our world today? Join us this weekend and we will explore this important question.