Week 2: He Is Our Peace
Fellowship – Snacks or a Meal (10 minutes with snacks; longer, obviously, if there is a meal)
Gathering and Opening (10 minutes). In pairs or groups of three, talk about when you were growing up, who you were told to “stay away from”; or who was seen as not part of your group (certain types or groups of people – for example, people who lived across the tracks or people who engaged in certain types of behaviors).
Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes).
Read: Ephesians 2:11-22
- Part of the human condition is to instinctively think of people in terms of in-groups and out-groups. Who is part of our “in” group and who is in the “out” group for us? Who are the two groups in this passage? [Circumcised – Jews; and uncircumcised – Gentiles.] What do we learn about the differences between these groups from this passage? Are there other differences you are aware of?
- Since these two groups were seen as drastically different, how revolutionary would Paul’s ideas of reconciliation have seemed to his readers (vv. 13-14)?
- How would you have thought about this if you were one of the circumcised Jews? How would you have thought about this if you were one of the uncircumcised Gentiles?
- In verse 22, Paul notes that we are “dwelling place for God” as we are being built together. How might we demonstrate this way of living in our churches and toward our communities?
Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (2 minutes). End by praying the following or a similar prayer:
Reconciling God, we confess that have fallen into artificial lines of separation. Guide us to see the boundaries where you place them and not necessarily assume that you place them in ways that are comfortable to us. When we are uncertain, help us to lean into your strong arms of grace. Amen.