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There's a part of me that has a fire burning a hole in my heart for the Church. I hope this is evident if you are around me at all. I can't help it. I love the Church. I love Jesus. I believe He wants to use the Church to make Himself known to a dying world.   

As we work through Paul's letter to the Ephesians, I've been reminded (and it has fueled the fire in me) that what Jesus accomplished on the cross was to destroy the walls that divide and remove the hostility that separates. Two weeks ago, when we talked about what it looks like for Christians to take a stand, I hope you heard very clearly that we, as the Church, are called to be His ambassadors for unity.   

These days many people have strong, even militant feelings and convictions about politics. And I ask myself questions, like "Why is there so much division and hostility? Why do people insist that we pick a side and defend it? Why do we tolerate this constant division in our lives?" While I do think it's good for Christians to have thoughts on politics that matter, I also believe we have been given a much higher standard to live by...    

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

Hebrews 12:14 ESV    

Please hear my heart. Jesus sets our values, "...strive for peace and holiness." The government doesn't!  While elected officials may influence taxes, trade, and health care, we can't let them ruin our relationships and rob us of community. We have to let go of the expectation that somehow the government will solve our problems.   

I believe the work of the church is more powerful than any one politician, our military, or the government. It is the task of the Church to nurture the souls of men, women, and children. It is because we have been tasked to "make peace".   

I realize things are heated politically. Christian, please don't sacrifice your voice of influence for Jesus by engaging in division and hostility. Jesus took the walls that divide us to the grave, let's keep them there.   

Ephesians is challenging. 

Grace & Peace, 

Pastor Tom