You were dead through the trespasses and sins 2in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. 3All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else.
4But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us 5even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— 9not the result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.
11So 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— 12remember 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. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. 15He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, 16and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. 17So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; 18for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, 20built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. 21In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.
You might as well have said. . .
. . .unchristian,
. . .unamerican,
. . .unwhite,
. . .unheterosexual,
. . .unmale,
. . .uninvited,
. . .unneeded,
. . .unwanted,
. . .unloved,
. . .unaccepted.
But now in Christ Jesus—
But now, nothing!
There is no peace
Old walls have been rebuilt
and new ones constructed.
The stone is rolled away
hostility has been resurrected.
One war, two wars
can we start a third?
One in place of two?
Try each one looking out for number one.
No longer Strangers and Aliens?
Of course not, we who were once pilgrims
have made aliens illegal and strangers unwelcome.
by nature we are children of wrath.
Heaven help you if you are not like everyone else.
Following the desires of our flesh,
we can twist a God rich in mercy into little more than a tribal totem capable of immeasurable pain and suffering.
To be certain, this is our own doing.
Have we ever been this far off?
Yet, we boast unaware of the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient.
be our peace,
bring us near,
build us together,
dwell in us.