Built Together - Reflections 7-17-2021

Texts for Sunday, July 17, 2021 
Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

Jeremiah  23:1-6
Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

Over the years, as I have attempted to help my confirmation classes get a sense of sin, we’ve tried simple experiences to get an idea of what sin does in our lives. We’ve built walls (cardboard) between each other, separating tribes by eye color. We’ve locked people out of the room. We’ve gone out to see litter laying on the ground near a trash bin. We’ve checked on how much food is wasted each day.

I have found the words of the Exhortation/Invitation to Lent from the LBW/ELW  help us express sin:

We are created to experience joy in communion with God, to love one another, and to live in harmony with creation. But sin/our sinful rebellion separates us from God, our neighbors, and creation, so that we do not enjoy the life our creator intended.

Sin separates, divides us. It’s how we live our lives.

Oh yes. It feels like the world constantly draws divisions and lines, and creates “us” and “them”. The author of Ephesians in this tells the Gentile Christians and the Jewish Christians “not anymore”. Jesus has brought them together; their lives have changed. They have received reconciliation, peace, and unity through the cross of Jesus Christ. All those walls and divisions are heaps of rubble.

Instead, a growing structure is being brought together in Jesus who is the cornerstone; that growing structure is a place for God to live; that growing structure is us, the collective us not the singular me.

Earlier in this text, the author also describes Christians as a new humanity, as members together in the household of God, and not as aliens but citizens together. He’s throwing as many metaphors as he can muster to make his point. Please note that the author is not offering any of this unity as a reward for when we finally get it right, for when we manage to pull it all together. It is all God's action. It is a gift. And it is present tense. Look around. Where are the walls falling?


How to Find Us

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Iowa City

Gathered by grace. Scattered for service.

123 E Market Street
Iowa City, IA 52245