Evans: The Great Divide
Lori Evans (email)
I have known this truth from as far back as I can remember. Always being prone to “speak my mind,” a rebellious word would send me to my room, isolated from the rest of the family behind a closed door. Or, in the glory days of sharing the back seat of the car, my sisters and I would often start something before we had even left the driveway. When one of us would touch, shove, or shout at the other, what followed was a pronouncement of banishment to “our sides” of the seat. No touching!
As I got older, the separation was often my own doing. A fight would end in a slammed door or worse…silence. Sometimes it still happens. An unkind word divides. Relational doors are shut and walls go up.
It has always been this way in human societies. In families, cities, and nations, rebellious words and actions have shoved, slammed, and silenced groups behind the dividing walls of humanity.
As I read last Sunday’s Old Testament lesson from Genesis 3, I was reminded that this severing of sin is a symptom of a much deeper divide: “an alienation from the life of God” (Eph. 4:18). And it was our own doing.
In Genesis 3:8, we are given the loveliest of pictures: a Father walking in the garden with His children. But the children rebelled by seeking for themselves what they ought not. So it came – the separation. They “hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God.” It was the obstacle of sin that brought disharmony upon the whole of human nature, seducing mankind away from God Himself.
In this fractured world, Scripture reminds me of our hope in the work of Him in Whom “all things hold together” (Col. 1:17, 19-23). For in Christ “all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” We can rejoice that we have been “reconciled in his body of flesh by his death,” so we might be presented “holy and blameless and above reproach before him,” if we “continue in the faith, stable and steadfast.”
In Colossians 3:12-15 Paul goes on to give a powerful portrait of God’s chosen ones, the family of God. They put on “compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other…” For we have been brought near by His blood. Therefore, “put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”
Be thankful! Christ who holds all things together reconciles us to God and through His love we may be one, in perfect harmony! This is very good news.