Anthem Denver is part a family of churches. The Anthem family of churches is united around shared mission, vision, values, and submission to the Lordship of King Jesus.
He Is Our Peace
In Ephesians 2:11-22, Paul talks about how Jesus’ followers should be unified. We are to be one in Christ, members of God’s household, “built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” This struck a chord with me. I not only see a divided church, but have also participated in its division. I’m sure many of us are in the same position. How can we disagree on so much? Why is it so easy to slander my brother and sister just because they differ politically, culturally, or ideologically from me? I actually think God anticipated how difficult it would be for his followers to be united. In fact, in John 17:21-23, Jesus prays for his future followers to “be brought to complete unity” so that the world would know of His love. He could have prayed for so many other things—health, wealth, safety, power—but he specifically asked God to unify us. And it is through this unity of Christ’s Church that the world will know his name. Our unity has significant missional purpose.
When Paul tells the Ephesians that Jesus’ followers are to be unified, he acknowledges the hostility between the Jews and Gentiles during that particular time in history. He was not unaware of how crazy difficult this notion of unity sounded. Indeed, he mentions a “dividing wall of hostility” between the groups. Sound familiar? Yet, the different practices, customs, languages, backgrounds, politics, and centuries of tension between the Jews and Gentiles were no match for the unifying power of Christ’s resurrection. Paul writes that Jesus “put to death their hostility” and gave all people “access to the Father by one Spirit.”
I love the imagery that Paul uses to explain how crucial Jesus is to finding peace with other believers. He equates the Church to a house, each of us a building block, with “Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.” Christ himself is the unifier, he is the stone that holds us all together. Through him and under his headship, we are unified. The more we drift from Jesus and look for unity in different venues of life, the shakier the whole building becomes. This section of Ephesians 2 was a reminder to me that I have one incredible thing in common with every single brother and sister who has set foot on this earth: we know, love, and follow Jesus as Lord, Savior, and friend. That truth is enough to triumph over any form of division—it was in Paul’s day and it is now. So it all starts and ends with Jesus’ Lordship in our lives, “for he himself is our peace,” nothing else.