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June 23, 2024

Bury the Hatchet: From Harm to Harmony With Those Around Us

Destroying the Dividing Wall


Pastor Matt Hammett

Ephesians 2:14-22
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 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, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

How do we live out a ministry of reconciliation?

Ephesians 2: 4-5
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

Ephesians 2:14-16
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 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, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.

"Reconciliation is the ongoing spiritual process involving forgiveness, repentance, and justice that restores broken relationships and systems to reflect God’s original intention for all creation to flourish."

- Dr. Brenda Salter Mcneil

"If our churches are still divided in any way along racial or cultural lines, [Paul] would say that our gospel, our very grasp of the meaning of Jesus’ death, is called into question."

- NT Wright

1. Explore Your own Formation

Ephesians 4:22-24
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

How did your family talk about these groups of people? What messages (spoken or unspoken) did you receive about:

-Black people
-White people
-Asian people (East Asian, South Asian, Asian American, etc.)
-Latino/a/Hispanic people
-Native American people
-Middle Eastern people

"Racism is usually defined as intended individual acts of overt prejudice and discrimination."

- Michael Emmerson

"Racism comprises attitudes, actions, institutional structure or social policies that subordinate persons or groups because of their color."

- Derald Wing Sue

2. Practice confession, repentance and forgiveness.

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

James 5:16
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

3. Cling to Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:14
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,


Assimilation: You are welcome as long as you become like me.
Segregation: You can remain as you are but stay over there in your own enclave.
Integration: Openness to learn from each other and appreciate cultural uniqueness.

Prayer of Confession:

"Almighty God our Heavenly Father,
We have sinned against you
and our neighbor through our own fault.
In thought, word, and deed.
In what we have done,
in what we have left undone.
For the sake of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
Forgive us all our offenses.
And grant that we may serve you in newness of life,
To the glory of your name.
AMEN"

NEXT STEPS

- Participate Next Sunday as we kick off our Summer Series
- Work on your genogram at emotionallyhealthy.org/teams
- How is the Lord inviting you to participate in a ministry of reconciliation? What step is the Holy Spirit inviting you to take?