In the Face of Dividing Walls of Hostility
In Ephesians 2:14-18, Paul wrote how Jesus destroyed the dividing wall of hostility between Jews and Gentiles, reconciling them in his body. Later, in Ephesians 3, Paul says that the inclusion of the Gentiles is seen as THE mystery of Christ being revealed by the Spirit for the first time. (3:5)
I am awed that the overcoming of hostility—creating peace where there was no peace, the inclusion of the “other” into the family of God’s people—is THE Mystery of Christ. These passages underscore that inclusion is at the heart of the gospel; not some side note. It’s Kinship!!
How is the Spirit revealing this mystery today? How may we participate in it?
What dividing lines of hostility might the Spirit want to shift in you and in me as we allow the Spirit breathing room?
How do I allow Christ to “overcome the dividing wall of hostility” within me?
I recently was part of a moderated discussion to help build unity around a potentially fraught topic. To help us prepare, the moderator explained that when we feel threatened, our instinct is to make up narratives that justify or match the feeling of danger. He said it’s so important to notice in your body when you are feeling threatened, and to be aware of the narratives you are beginning to generate about the people around you, or make up protectively about yourself.
What helps to dismantle this inclination towards hostility? The moderator invited the group to offer up “appropriate transparency / vulnerability” to each other. That’s given me good food to ponder.
Peace be with you in your pondering, friends.
I will be away on summer vacation for the next three Sundays. Nadia will preach this Sunday, 19 June. It is the third and final time we have her in our midst for the time being. She will be looking at the early church in Acts and the gritty, glorious work of kinship in real time, balancing “we” and “me.” I hope you have enjoyed the inclusion of her voice around this topic of kinship.
Then we will have another “Church at the Long Table” at Redwood Park on the fourth Sunday in June (the 26th).
Donelda will wrap up our series on Kinship on the first Sunday in July (the 3rd) with a talk about Restorative Justice. And then, it’s summer time at Southpoint! Laid back and relational will be the vibe. More on that next week:)
Deep peace and blessings.
Rev. Anne Baxter Smith
Pastor of the Church at Southpoint
If you’re planning to join us for an in-person service, please read our Covid policy. It’s kept up to date, here.
In-Person 10:00 am on Sundays at 15639 24 Avenue, Surrey!
Sun. Jun 19
Speaker: Nadia VanderKuip
Sun. Jun 26
Church @ the long table at Redwood Park
17900 20 Avenue, Surrey
Sun. Jul 3
Kinship and Restorative Justice
Speaker: Donelda Seymour
New to Southpoint?
At Southpoint, it all begins with God’s love. Just as a plant grows, it receives sunshine, so we grow as we receive God’s love. At Southpoint, we are growing in our capacity to love God, ourselves, one another, and creation.
We seek to be a community of grace that is intentional yet organic, spacious yet authentic, grace-filled yet accountable. * We are fully welcoming. *
We encourage relationships rather than run programs, yet we recognize the importance of intentionality and structure as we nurture life together.
As a community, we seek to put our love in action. We value helping out on Sunday mornings, sharing food, and showing up in hard times. We keep our church life simple so folk have time to build relationships with family, friends, and neighbours. We encourage folk to serve in tangible ways within the wider community. We rent space rather than own a building, allowing us to do more with less, supporting missions at home and abroad.
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