you who once were far off have been brought near

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“Remember that you were at that times separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”

Ephesians 2:12-13 (ESV)

Have you ever lost a loved one? There is a great deal of pain and suffering that comes with losing someone that you love. For me, it was my grandfather. I spent a great many years of my life learning from him and spending time with him. I used to go with him to his shop and work with wood to create crafts that he would teach kids to make at different summer camps. When he died, I was in a different state and five hours away. When I got the call, I was crushed. The pain of the separation burned in me and still does to this day. That desire to hear his voice one more time and to hear his wisdom after decades in the ministry brings me to tears even years later.

Why do I tell you this? The pain that I and so many other people feel when we are separated from the ones we love does not even come close to the pain of separation from our God. Most of us don’t realize this pain, because we have either been set free or we don’t recognize it in our own lives. The desire to commune with our Creator is often buried deep within us, but is always there. This is one of the greatest joys of being in Christ. The pain is gone and we are set free. However, this is only one benefit. We are no longer separated and alienated from Christ and his people. Christ has brought us close and we are given a new family. This new family is the church. We are no longer separated by the barriers of language, nationality, race, gender or class. We are one family. Imagine it. Millions of people all part of the same family. If you have ever met a Christian from another nation, you know what I mean. There is an instant bond between the two. No longer do we have to mourn the separation from Christ. Instead, we can celebrate the unity with the Church and the relationship we have with Christ!

This week, fellowship with other believers. Spend time with your family. We are not perfect, but we are your brothers and sisters in Christ brought near by the blood of the Savior.

March 13, 2017