Ephesians 2:11-22 (NIV)

11 Therefore, remember that formerly1 you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men)2— 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners3 to the covenants of the promise,4 without hope5 and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once6 were far away have been brought near7 through the blood of Christ.8 14 For he himself is our peace,9 who has made the two one10 and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by abolishing in his flesh11 the law with its commandments and regulations.12 His purpose was to create in himself one13 new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross,14 by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace15 to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.16 18 For through him we both have access17 to the Father18 by one Spirit.19 19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens,20 but fellow citizens21 with God’s people and members of God’s household,22 20 built23 on the foundation24 of the apostles and prophets,25 with Christ Jesus himself26 as the chief cornerstone.27  21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple28 in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.29

Ephesians 2:18 (NIV)

18 for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father.                            

DEVOTION -Madeline Peterson (Nebraska)

Perhaps the greatest blessing I receive from reading The Upper Room is my awareness of how vast the Christian community is around the world.  Often after reading a devotional written by a fellow Christian on the other side of the globe from me, I sit silently in awe that I have a sister or brother in Christ in that location.  I am overwhelmed by the knowledge that the same heavenly Father unites us, even though great distances separate us.  I am humbled by the privilege of joining with millions of Christians around the world in the prayer focus for the day.

Every day I join in the prayer at the close of the meditation.  And I pray for the writer who is my sister or brother in Christ, wherever he or she lives.

Too often we think of the church as only the Christians in our local congregation, our town, or our denomination when it is so much more.  Jesus knew the need of people everywhere to hear the good news when he sent out his disciples to teach.  (See Matt. 28:19.)  While clearly much work remains to be done, it is also clear that the good news has been shared far and wide.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Prayer connects us to the worldwide family of God.

PRAYER: God of all the world, pour out your blessing, pressed down and overflowing, upon your children everywhere. (see Luke 6:38.)  Amen.