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Friday, 8 August 2014

Ephesians 2.11-13

"Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ."

Another case of the in and the out, the endless temptation to make others on the outside once we are insiders. The uncircumcised creating new kinds of circumcision for the purposes of exclusion when the only circumcision that really matters is a surgery that cannot be carried out by human hands. Jeremiah 17.9. It is the heart that needs to be circumcised. And yet we have forgotten that this is a procedure we did nothing to initiate. Brought near. Carried home. His blood. Paul is emphatic in his use of the passive. We may have come back but first something brought us to our senses. Luke 15.17. Israel is rebuked by Jesus for its exclusion of the younger son. The Gentile graft imitates the root but now there are other younger sons to resent. Who do we secretly believe doesn't have a share in the kingdom? Divorced, gay, single mum, charismatic, conservative, convict? But there is no slave free Gentile jew male female now. It is new creation creating circumcision that counts only. Watch out for arrogance today. Remember what it is to be estranged, excluded, cut off and hold the door open for the unlikely stranger. For Jesus warns us that the final in and out will surprise us. Matthew 7:21-23.

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