Surprise homecomings are always fun to watch. There are literally thousands of surprise homecomings of members of the armed forces on YouTube because people enjoy seeing the reaction of a child when their parent comes home unexpectedly or the joy as a husband and wife are reunited after a long deployment. It is exciting to see the joy on the faces of the service member and their families. If you don’t tear up just a bit when you see them happening, you may be heartless.
That being said, some of the most amazing reunions happen every day as people who did not know Jesus recognize the call of God on their hearts and are reconciled to Him. Some people you know are going to come to Christ. Others are complete surprises. They seemed to be so far away from God, and yet, God still called them and brought them into fellowship with Him. “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:13)
In this letter, Paul was dealing with the differences between Jews and Gentiles. The Jews, having been the chosen people of God, sometimes seemed to emphasize that, even after they came to Christ, to fellow believers. As Paul talked about that issue with the church at Ephesus he pointed out that Gentiles once were separated a long way from God. That shows the miraculous nature of the sacrifice of Jesus. No matter how far away the Gentiles were from God, they have been reconciled by the blood of Christ. Paul continued by saying that Jesus tore down the wall between Jew and Gentile. There are no barriers with God and there should be no barriers between His people.
So what barriers do we set up between us and God? Are you not good enough? Do you need to clean your life up before God will accept you? Would you prefer to continue in your sin rather than doing things God’s way? All of these barriers are destroyed when we let the blood of Jesus draw us into a relationship with Almighty God. Turn to Him, and let Him deal with those issues. What barriers do we set up between ourselves and other people of God? Is it that we don’t like their sin, because our sin is ok? Is it differences in skin color? Differences in economic status? Differences in nationality? None of these barriers exist in God’s mind. God hates not only that other person’s sin, but mine as well. He forgives with mercy and grace. As to the other differences, God sees us all the same. Artificial human issues aren’t important to Him. If they aren’t important to Him, we need to learn to make them not important to us. We are now fellow citizens in God’s Kingdom.
Oh Lord, it is so much easier to build barriers than breach them; erect walls than tearing them down. Work in my heart to teach me to tear down the barriers that people have set up and let me show others Your grace and mercy.