No Longer Foreigners and Strangers

Today's lectionary reflection comes to us from Paul's letter to the Ephesians chapter 2:19-20.
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
I  was struck by the first line of this passage--especially since there has been so many passionate conversations taking place in our culture over the past couple of years regarding immigration and refugees. 

Here's a true thing, though:  No matter which side of the political fence we land regarding these issues, there are some things that we all can agree upon, like:

  • When we are talking about "foreigners and strangers," we are talking about people here.  Not numbers, not statistics... people.  Human beings who are loved by God. 
  • Most of us have never been forced to flee our homes due to war, economic hardship, etc.  But if we try, we can imagine what it would be like to be so desperate that you would risk everything to make it better.  
Putting aside our views on immigration and refugees for a moment, we can certainly identify with those who feel out of place, homeless, rootless and lost.  Each of us has had moments in our lives where we have felt this way. 

And for those early Christians reading Paul's letter in the first century, many of them would have felt out of place as well.  For the most part, they were not Roman citizens, and did not enjoy the benefits of citizenry. 

Paul assures them that they belong in God's kingdom.  Not only are they granted citizenship in God's kingdom, they are also elevated to the status of family, with a place to call home.  

Maybe you are going through a season of your life where you are feeling lost and displaced.  You might be feeling left out and marginalized at work, or at school.  You might feel lost in your relationships.  

I want you to hear this words from author and speaker Sarah Bessey as a word of encouragement:  We aren't invisible to Jesus or embarrassing to Jesus, nor are we unwelcome.  

May this bring you hope, and may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  


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