Where Hostility Melts

Text:  Ephesians 2:18

          “For through him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.” 

This morning we’ll be looking at how the writer to Ephesians addressed the squabbling between the Jewish and Greek Christians in the church at Ephesus.  The Jewish Christians believed that they had to be true to the Old Testament, which, after all, made up the vast majority of the Christian Bible.  So their emphasis was on keeping many of the Jewish regulations.  In other words, they believed they were more loyal to God by what they did. 

So what does this have to do with us?  Any one of us who enjoys pork chops or (God forbid!) a cheeseburger with bacon has already cast our vote in this early church fight.  Not much has changed in twenty centuries. Today, when we argue with fellow Christians, it’s usually over moral beliefs.  So now we believe that we are more loyal to God by what we believe.  It’s the same old argument that was going on in Ephesus.  We’ve just changed categories.

Along with our emphasis on believing the correct doctrines is our frequent discounting of those who can’t explain these doctrines.  For centuries, children were barred from the Lord’s Table because they were unable to “understand” what was going on.  By the same logic, we should,  I suppose, bar cognitively challenged adults who can’t deal with abstract language.

When you and I receive the bread and wine, we do not have to know every mystery of the Holy Trinity or be able to explain all nuances of biblical doctrine like sacrifice, salvation, and atonement.  We eat the bread of life, we let the wine of new life trickle down our throats in the complete assurance that Jesus is here and “through him, we have access by one Spirit to the Father.” 

Join with us.