Ephesians 2:13-18 (CEB)

13 But now, thanks to Christ Jesus, you who once were so far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

14 Christ is our peace. He made both Jews and Gentiles into one group. With his body, he broke down the barrier of hatred that divided us. 15 He canceled the detailed rules of the Law so that he could create one new person out of the two groups, making peace. 16 He reconciled them both as one body to God by the cross, which ended the hostility to God.

17 When he came, he announced the good news of peace to you who were far away from God and to those who were near. 18 We both have access to the Father through Christ by the one Spirit.


Most of us have had times when we were away from someone we loved due to work, school, or military deployments. Can you remember how difficult those times were?

Especially when they happen in the beginning of a relationship, there are all kinds of questions. Do I still matter to them? What if they meet someone else who is right there – will they forget about me? When you’re feeling insecure, little slights can become big blowups over the phone or in texts.

But do you also remember how joyful even a weekend together could be? To be present with your lover provides that reassurance you need that you are still loved: that you are not forgotten, that you still matter.

The point of Christ’s entering into our world, of his being born into our human family, was to end the long-distance relationship. He showed up to bring those who were once far away near to the very heart of God. His birth took our connection from text-only into real life. In Bethlehem, Jesus literally became the God who lives next door – no more long distance!

By Joe Monahan

For Pondering & Prayer

Do you ever feel like you need reassurance that God is still present with you, guiding you? If so, pray for that reassurance today. God has a way of showing up when we least expect!

How can Christians today continue Jesus’ purpose of making God’s presence real for those who don’t believe – for “those who are far away” in the words of today’s scripture?