SHARING THE SEAT

Read: Ephesians 2:11-22
 
Reflect: We dreaded long trips in the car when our boys were young. Numerous times, Bill and I had to draw an imaginary line in the middle of the backseat so that we would not hear the continual, “Mom, he’s poking me! He’s on my side! He is breathing on me!”  We were so thankful when we got our first minivan. Each son could have their own bench seat, their own territory. 

DISUNITY WAS THE NORM

The attitudes in the New Testament Church between the Jewish and Gentile believers were similar to our sons sharing the seat.  There was a “barrier, a dividing wall of hostility.”  Many of the believing Jews thought they deserved a front row seat at God’s table while Gentile believers were considered 2nd class believers. Disunity was the norm.
 

THE UNINVITED BECAME THE VALUED GUESTS

God thought differently. God called to the Gentiles, “Come!”  Luke 14 records the story of the host of a huge banquet receiving massive refusals from the invitees. The host then tells his servant, “Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.”  All the uninvited suddenly became the valued guests.  Jesus has invited the broken, the poor, the crippled. All believers share the seat at the table.
 
Have you heard of Jordan Haber?  He will be at the Barclay Center for the upcoming National Basketball Association Draft; the big leagues. The sticking point is that the draft-eligible 21-year-old has never played organized basketball. He’s never even played in a rec league. Haber discovered he met the conditions to be eligible. “There’s just a bunch of small little things that I ended up meeting,” Haber explained. “I sent over an email to the NBA and they got back to me and sent over the paperwork right away.”

NOTHING IN OURSELVES MERITS OUR BEING DRAFTED

That is the beauty of the love and grace of the Gospel. We were considered to be at a great distance from God, without hope of being invited to the Feast of Jesus Christ. There is nothing in ourselves that merits our being drafted. Yet, we have been sought after; pursued by the King.   We “were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.”  However, if we respond to the Gospel, we become part of God’s draft (not the NBA Draft). Jesus is the glue, the foundation for all of this.  Ephesians says, “In him (Christ) the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.”

THE IMAGINARY LINE IS GONE

I, like Jordan Haber, have no merits met by my own abilities.  We don’t have to be the kids poking at each other in the backseat.  There is no lingering on the outside because we don’t have the skills or heritage to be religious.  We just have to come by the blood of Jesus Christ. He is our peace. Our God does not dread taking long trips with us. That imaginary line is gone. We have been united and brought together for a long, long trip.

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