“A Unifying Peace From Christ”
8th Sunday After Pentecost
Jeremiah 23: 1-6
Ephesians 2: 11-22
One of the most ordinary spaces that human beings give way to is conflict. Anywhere in the world and in whatever human race, conflict is so evident. Nations are clashing against nations, like the historical conflict between Israel and Palestine. Internal conflict is also experienced by some nations, like the conflict we have in the southern part of our country, the fight between military soldiers and the New People’s Army or the NPA, and other groups that are against the government. Conflict comes in many forms. It may come between you and another person or group of persons, in a way like building a brick wall. We can cite a lot of causes for conflict. It may be through actions taken, bitter words spoken, hateful comments, love witheld and many more. The sad thing is that, there is a cause of conflict that is too shallow to consider, and it is being inconsiderate with whatever differences we have with others. Difference in skin colors, race, nationality, gender, religion and principles in life are just some of the reasons for our being indifferent to others. Most of the time, we just let the conflict get worse, doing nothing to mend the brokenness and misunderstanding until we are used to living in hostility with other people and even with ourselves. And so, we miss the peace that God offers through Jesus Christ.
Our scripture lesson for today from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians gives us a clear example of what being indifferent is all about. The letter is addressed to the Ephesians who are Gentile Christians. Before their conversion to Christianity, they were regarded as “full blown pagans,” involved in mystic religions and identified with the cult of the Greek God, Artemis- the goddess of fertility and childbirth. They were also involved in sorcery. They were far from the moral laws of the Ten Commandments. And they lived without having a sense of the true God. No wonder the Jews despised and hated them.