December 22

Read Ephesians 2:11-22.

I’ve heard it said that most driving accidents happen within five miles of home. Perhaps the person telling me that was just trying to teach me extra caution, but it makes some sense. As we get near home, we become comfortable. Things are familiar. We let our guard down.

But letting down our guard isn’t necessarily bad. We are nearing home on our Advent journey. Christmas is close at hand. Most of our preparation is done. And soon we can let down our guard and simply enjoy the holidays.

In Ephesians 2, Paul writes, “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (NRSV) The birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus were about bringing us nearer to God and tearing down walls. Through Jesus, the Gentiles who were once far from God are brought near. Suddenly, in Christ, the walls of inequality are torn away and everyone has the same access to God.

As we prepare to celebrate Christmas, we remember how the lowly shepherds and the princely magi were both invited to celebrate the coming King. And how this baby, born in a humble manger, would grow to eat with sinners and Pharisees alike. May this serve as a reminder not to construct walls that hinder others from drawing near to the coming King. But let us be like the shepherds and angels, proclaiming the good news of great joy to the entire world!


Gracious Lord, thank you that everyone no matter their race, sex, or status can come to worship and adore you. May your name be ever praised! Amen!

Rev. Jeffrey Fiet


First Presbyterian Church (Scottsbluff, NE)