Peace, even just a few moments of being truly at ease, seems very, very hard to come by sometimes. There are just too many options for doing something "right now!" Slowing down becomes a luxury.
So...what to do? How to be? What next?
Peace, just a few moments of being truly at ease, could be there for you now, in a few moments within the heartbeat of God.next >
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 — 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. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Ephesians 2:11-13next >
There are moments in life when all you want is to belong. There's that group of friends that you want to be a part of so badly. Or maybe it's a school you're seeking admission to. Perhaps you're trying out for the football team or school musical. Whatever it is, there's something deep inside us that loves to belong.
The writer of Ephesians made a gutsy move when he wrote his letter to the church at Ephesus. In the midst of people drawing lines between Jews and Gentiles, between physical characteristics, between spiritual citizenship, we read this declaration: "You who once were far off have been brought near."
That is good news of the highest order. You, no matter who you are, have been given a gift. Jesus Christ says once and for all that you belong. You are in. You didn't do anything to make it happen. That was his gift. Celebrate, because you belong.
And don't hog this gift. Go today and remind someone of the best news ever: through Christ, they belong.
John Woodsnext >
Accepting God, who meets me in my wanderings and guides me with love, help me to celebrate my identity as yours, so that I might invite others to belong to you. Amen.next >
Go in peace
With Christ now at your side.
Go with a sense of ease
That only Christ provides.
Go to share the calm within.
John Woods is pastor of music and worship at Northside Baptist Church in Victoria, Texas, where he provides leadership to the areas of music, the arts, worship, and liturgy. When there’s time, John likes cluttering up his Mac, reading Dan Brown, listening to “This American Life,” traveling with his wife Lindsay and son Husdon, and exploring the intersections of music, faith, liturgy, and community.
Jesus Calls Us