Editor’s Note: For our Ordinary Time Devotional series, you will be hearing entirely from young authors. They will be sharing their perspectives on the theme, “God is in the streets.” Enjoy reading how the next generation of emerging GCI leaders experiences God outside the walls of the Sunday church gathering.
For [Christ Jesus] is our peace; in his flesh he has made both into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us, abolishing the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace … Ephesians 2:14-15
God’s love is boundless and crosses the lines that his children have created amongst themselves. Never would I have imagined myself at an In-N-Out restaurant with a 30-year-old PhD student, an upper-class blonde, blue-eyed teenager, and a 40-year-old father of two. What do these three and a 21-year-old first-generation student have in common?
It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. I’ve lived in the same community my whole life, and this felt odd. PhDs are only for people who don’t need to worry about working right away to support their families. The blue-eyed kids sat at the reserved lunch tables in high school and had parents who would call the cops on my friends and me if we rode our bicycles past their homes. Older people only engaged in “adult talk,” and young people should stay out of it.
These were the “lines” I learned growing up—and I was taught to fear the consequences if I stepped over these boundaries. However, through the shared love of Jesus, these psychological heuristics (or mental shortcuts) are being reversed. By opening my heart, the Lord has strengthened my relationship with him through fellowship. This miracle goes beyond just me. Deep friendships, rooted in the love for Christ, erase cultural, generational, and socioeconomic divides. God allows us to learn from one another in our individual corners of the world—such as a college or university.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank you for having a love so strong it breaks down walls between communities and walls we put up around our hearts. Remind us that before any other identity, we are your children. Please open our minds and soften our hearts to accept this love and to spread it to our neighbors the way Jesus intended us to. All of this we pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.