LUNCHTIME BLUES NO MORE By Jacquelin Stoner

Read:   Ephesians 2:19-22

Reflect: In elementary school I dreaded lunch time in the cafeteria. Yes, I was that kid, the rather shy and awkward one who wanted desperately to belong. My dream was to have lunch tray in hand and to hear at least one girl calling out my name because they were saving a seat for me. Small dream, but it was essential to me. 

Along with everyone else on the planet, I am hardwired with a desire to belong, to feel connected, and not to be the outsider. One of the definitions of a stranger is “one who does not belong to or is kept from the activities of a group”. That’s why this passage in Ephesians is so refreshing. “19 Now you are no longer strangers to God and foreigners to heaven, but you are members of God’s very own family, citizens of God’s country, and you belong in God’s household with every other Christian.”(NLT) As a believer, I belong!! 

The “you are” at the beginning of the passage means that this reversal in citizenship is immediate and permanent. I am no longer that little girl peering in; longing for connection. As a believer, I have a permanent eternal home and I am wanted.  Michelle Madrid-Branch sums it up well as she writes: “We belong here, not as tourists, or strangers creeping into an awesome temple, but as children taking our places at the family table.”. That’s right; I have a seat at God’s table. That is rather awesome.

Furthermore, I am not part of a temporary group that could splinter because of a gust of wind. The Architect of this eternal structure has not haphazardly dumped a random pile of stones in a field. God carefully fits together His beloved children to create one structure, one beautiful work of art, the universal church. God chisels away at our lives and often that part of the journey is not pleasant, but it is necessary so that we fit perfectly together on top of the only appropriate eternal foundation there is, the Word of God. The bedrock for this structure is not my own judgment, my own wisdom (which tends to go off course rather quickly), but it is solid and true. It’s an unshakeable foundation of truth. The integral portion of this structure that glues everything together is Jesus Christ. He makes us “parts of a beautiful, constantly growing temple for God”.  

Apply: The Amplified Version says: 22 In Him [and in fellowship with one another] you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” Let that last part resonate today in your heart and soul. If you know Jesus Christ as your Savior, then God’s design for your life is to be joined together with believers from all over the world, past, present and future. You are a significant portion of God’s dwelling place; a glorious, holy location filled with light. You are no more the outsider looking in. The Holy Spirit is calling you to your place at the table. You belong! Start to live that way.