"I ask for the grace to pray and meditate faithfully. I ask for patience, tolerance, empathy, compassion, and gentleness. I ask to abstain from anger, anxiety, arrogance, compulsive behaviour, cynicism, discouragement, and self-importance. I ask to know and follow Jesus more closely, seeking justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly."
17So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; 18for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, 20built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone.* 21In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22in whom you also are built together spiritually* into a dwelling-place for God.
1) "...proclaimed peace;" "...in one Spirit;" "...no longer strangers and aliens;" "...citizens with the saints;" "...members of the household;" "...the cornerstone;" "...a holy temple in the Lord;" "...built together spiritually into a dwelling-place for God;" "
2) I guess it is somewhat reassuring to realized that Paul, 2,000 years ago was struggling constantly to bring peace to the communities that were constantly experiencing conflict within themselves. Some things never change. I do appreciate the poetry of his prose, one biblical reference layered upon another seamlessly. "Citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God." Does it feel like we are citizens with the saints and members of the household of God? Every day? All day? Some days, for sure. But some days... less so. It is a tall calling to be "citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God." I wonder if the day to day tasks might be lighter if we took this calling seriously, every day, reminding ourselves that we are not earning our way into citizenship, but that we are already citizens and the work is what citizens do, we serve.
3) What is the invitation in all this? Maybe I'm making a few posters for around the office and church, "You are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God."
"Holy One, come and proclaim your peace among us."
Breathprayer: "Citizens... with the saints."