Paul says in Ephesians that Jesus’ purpose was to create in himself one new humanity through the cross. I wonder what that unified humanity looks like – what it means for our households, and communities, and workspaces? What does it look like to love our coworkers who are so incredibly different from us? What does it look like to choose compassion over division? How do I lay down my life for people around me instead of fighting to protect it?
I know that people are diverse: we are made up of different stories, different lifestyles, different cultures, different struggles. Sometimes it feels like there are a thousand reasons to divide ourselves, and yet, I find that Jesus isn’t dividing. Whenever I want to push away from my neighbor, I find that Jesus is trying to reconcile us. When it seems like I have nothing at all in common with my coworker, Jesus is bringing us together.
I’ve come to realize that the Scriptures are right: when I look at the cross, it puts every hostility to rest. As I’m focused on dividing, there’s Jesus laying his life down for his enemies. My anger fades. My anxiety fades away. Here in this melting-pot neighborhood, where it’s easy to turn people into dangers, or outsiders, or strangers – I find that I want to be a little more like him.
I want to walk like Jesus. I want to spend myself for the poor, and the needy, and the lost. I want to love my neighbor, no matter where they come from – not because of our similar experiences, but because of our similar desperation for Jesus.
Would you consider inviting someone different into your life? Allow Jesus to take down the dividing walls. If it is a neighbor, open your home. Share a meal, show kindness, speak life. If it is a coworker, take them for coffee. Listen to their story. Appreciate what you do not understand, and allow Jesus to bridge the gap. We are marvelously different, and still Jesus is working in all of it. Open your heart to what he’s doing. It might be stretching. It will be worth it.
For he himself is our peace,
who has made the two groups one
and has destroyed the barrier,
the dividing wall of hostility,
by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations.
His purpose was to create in himself
one new humanity out of the two,
thus making peace.