But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
For he himself is our peace (shalom), who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace (shalom), and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace (shalom) to you who were far away and peace (to those who were near). For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Unity. It’s not often something we seem to experience in this world. So many examples of hatred, animosity, discord and anger abound. As the apostle Paul was writing to the church in Ephesus, these elements existed between the Jewish people and the Gentiles of the nations around them. But Paul pointed out what had made it possible for this to change. Jesus changes everything. Paul points out that Jesus is our shalom who destroys barriers and dividing walls of hostility. The words Paul uses to describe what Jesus does – one new humanity, reconcile, peace, access to the Father by one Spirit, fellow citizens, members of his household, joined, built together – all are expressions of shalom. Restoration of all by and through Jesus. He is our unity and through our connection with Him, we can remove all of the barriers and hostilities within our families, neighborhoods, schools, workplaces. We are able to change the narrative all around us. As a dwelling place of God, we become part of the solution to the disunity around us because where we go, He goes too. And He is shalom.