Lectionary Proper 11

Lectionary Proper 11

“No Longer Strangers” is the current Sermon Series. The July 2nd Sermon Title is “Aliens Brought Near” and is based on the Scripture text: Ephesians 2:11-22.

We hear the word “alien” a lot in the news. Usually this word is linked to the adjective “illegal”. However illegal alien is not a concept we find in the Hebrew Bible. The Hebrew word sometimes translated as alien in English comes from the Hebrew word that is most often translated aliensinto English as “foreigner”.

The concept of illegal alien was one that we cannot find in the Bible. The structure of “national sovereignty” could not be found in human history before the 16th century. National sovereignty consisting of nations with legal boundaries has only existed for the last 300 years or so. So the someone an illegal alien did not exist in biblical times. People traveling from their territory to another place were called foreigners.
Middle Eastern hospitality meant that when a foreigner came onto your tribal or clan territory, you were to accept them as a family. In the Book of Genesis when Abraham was approached by three foreigners (strangers) he invited them into his tent and had a meal prepared for them of a fatted calf and the finest bread. Foreigners were not a threat but were received as if they were a family member.
Our Scripture lesson. Shares with us these words:
“remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” (Ephesians 2:12, NRSV)
The word aliens in Ephesians tells us that we were all aliens to God. We were outside the covenant. But the next verse goes on to say:
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought nearby the blood of Christ. For he is our peace;…” (Ephesians 2:13–14, NRSV)
The message to us is that through Christ Jesus we are no longer aliens to God but have been brought near. We have been invited into God’s house, we have been accepted, in fact adopted, as a family. And God prepares for us a meal with the finest bread.
Lastly, I want to leave you with this another point. In response to God accepting us and transforming us through Christ Jesus from aliens to family. Then we are to treat others as God treats us accepting others as a family. Maybe this will help us make a faithful response to the aliens we hear so much about in our daily news.
Come join us on Sunday morning at 10:30AM. In God’s House you will be accepted as a family.
Blessings Pastor Mick