Yesterday we were reminded of the radical nature in God's "chosen ones" becoming more than just the people of Israel. Pastor Gerry praught from Ephesians 2:11-22, the beginning of which reminds this group of people that at one point they were considered Gentiles.
Who were the Gentiles? Depending on which word is used (ethnos or Hellen), it refers to anyone from a nation other than Israel, or any Greek person. As Israel lost it's focus on the covenant God had made (they'd been chosen FOR THE PURPOSE of reaching all humanity), it moved further and further from loving these people. It came to the point where they were sometimes referred to commonly as "kyon", which would be similar to "dog", but in a slanderous way (like the way some would use the term for female dog these days).
So all of a sudden, these Gentiles are told they are on equal footing with the Jews before God. All of a sudden, the Jews are told they are no longer singled out for God's covenant and blessing, but that it is now offered to all humanity, even these Gentiles?
This wasn't just an emotional, tug-at-your-heart, kinda love God was pushing. This wasn't a buy-me-a-card-and-some-flowers and call it a day kind of relationship he was calling them to have transformed. This was an earth-shattering, world-view transforming, change the way you LIVE transformation. It didn't simply mean now you have to make eye contact, or treat them nice, or sit next to them in the cafeteria. It was a call to loving them like a brother/sister. The family of God was not just a cute illustration on how a Jesus-Santa brings us all gifts together. It was an actual relationship transformation that forced people with thousands of years of separation mindset to depend on the Holy Spirit to work a mighty change. I'm sure even the Gentiles needed reminders not to gloat over being invited to the party, after they'd been considered "outsiders" for so long, and knew many Jews were not happy with this new invitation.
As pointed out by Pastor Gerry, this was larger than the Berlin Wall coming down. This was larger than if North and South Korea came together. This was RADICAL, not for radical's sake, but for the sake of the Kingdom and by it's very nature breaking forth into our world.
May God and His Spirit be revealed in our lives in such ways. Not ways that are radical simply to be radical, but by the natural transforming that takes place when our values and loves are replaced by Kingdom Values and Loves. Look out creation...here comes the Church....
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