Ephesians 2: 19-22; 3: 1-6
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles – Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
SUMMARY OF SUNDAY'S MESSAGE
On Sunday we considered how the prevailing culture tries to promote unity and peace through the process of globalisation and dismantling cultural differences between people. However, recent elections have shown that we can't condition people to get along through media manipulation and political persuasion. It can only be achieved through true reconciliation which allows us to keep our distinctiveness and celebrates our differences.
Paul emphasises in Ephesians that in Christ the outsider and the excluded are welcomed into one family with every other part of the Body of Christ. We find our unique place and collaborate in our common mission. Jesus laid down His life to build us up as a dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. We together are the new temple of God, the place where His glory dwells and His presence fills.
As we receive the Spirit we recognise that as family, we are one. The Spirit unites us. Therefore spiritual growth and relational health always go hand in hand. Great giftedness, unusual revelation and spiritual experiences should always move us towards other people in humility and service rather than elevate us above them in superiority and pride.
When it comes to our interactions and relationships, we should seek to cover other's weakness and expose their greatness, not vice versa. As we develop friendship with the Holy Spirit, we will look to see what it is He has placed inside and loves about other people. We will search for the gold and call out the gifts in them. As we celebrate others, we liberate them to express their creativity and diversity. Thus the church takes the form of a stunning mosaic made up of different pieces, colours, sizes and shapes reflecting the God of infinite glory, unshackled creativity and unlimited possibility.