Reconciliation always brings a springtime to the soul.” ~Brother Roger
Welcoming Guests and Announcements – Pastor Ross
Hymn Sing – Congregational Hymn Pick
Prayer Concerns – Pastor Ross
Pastoral Prayer – Silent Prayer, Pastoral Prayer, Lord’s Prayer
Scripture Reading – Ephesians 2:11-17 – Pastor Ross
Message – Reconciliation: Jesus Restores Your Relationship – Pastor Dave
Communion – Pastor Linda, Ross, Dave
Benediction – Pastor Dave
Ephesians 2:11-22 – New Revised Standard Version
One in Christ
11 So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called “the uncircumcision” by those who are called “the circumcision” – a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands
12 remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.
15 He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace,
16 and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it.
17 So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near;
18 for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father.
19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God,
20 built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone.
21 In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord;
22 in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.
Our wayward behavior and sin has created a break, a chasm or divide in our relationship with God and each other, one that we cannot heal on our own. We cannot hear God clearly or fully know God’s will for us. Yet Jesus came to redeem even the hardest and most difficult of relationships. Jesus’ death on the cross bridges this impossible gap and restores our relationship with God.
Sin is fundamentally about separation from God, The fabric of our relationship with God has been torn leaving us alone and isolated. We want to be able to recognize that sin & separation in our lives and turn from it (repentance). The cross tears down the walls & brings us together to be healed, as well as to be healing agents for others.
Jesus bridges this gap of separation & enables us to live in a full & free relationship with God & others.
The Bible shows God desires to be in relationship with us & God created humans to be in relationship. Our longing for relationship with God. Isolation is painful, suffocating. Our longing leads us to repentance, turning back toward God, our longing for healing and wholeness in relationship with God & others draws us back.
We cannot build a bridge to God; we cannot draw near to God on our own actions. The only one who can save us is God & we must surrender ourselves to God’s power. God leads us to steps of reconciliation with one another: The bible filed with individuals & communities who sought to work thru division & were only able to do so through the power & grace of God. Where violence/revenge should prevail, the work of Jesus brings the possibility of forgiveness & healing.