There is something in the human psyche where we tend to label or categorise people. We decide who’s in and who’s out. We put people into boxes. We create barriers.
The grand vision of the church is to be a new community, a family, which is no longer marked by the barriers we create. A community which is known for its unity found in our commonality in Christ, and the transformation which He has brought in our lives.
Yet, as awe inspiring as the vision for this new community is, our inclination toward erecting barriers can all too often sabotage the realisation of this vision.
In light of this, Paul invites us into a very simple discipline to prevent us from going back to our old habits of tribalism, categorising and setting up of barriers. He invites us to remember.
To a group of people who knew what it was like to be on the wrong side of a barrier, who knew what it was like to be treated as second class, he says remember so you don’t treat others the same. To a group of people who did not know God, but were searching, he says remember what that was like when you encounter someone who is searching and questioning. To a group of people who now understand all that Jesus has done for them, he says remember this. Remember this wonderful thing which God has done for you, and that your identity and status is found in this, nothing else.
Can I encourage you to take time this week to remember. To feel empathy for those who feel unworthy, and for those who are searching for an answer, but do not yet know Christ. To remember what Jesus has done for you and to resist the temptation for find your status and identity in anything other than Jesus.
As you and I remember, my hope is that this will create the environments in our lives, where we are better able to live out the possibility of the amazing community which Paul alludes to in Ephesians.