"His purpose was to make the two groups of people become one new people in him and in this way make peace." Ephesians 2:15
This series forces us to think about the mission of the church. So let me give you a head start on the answer: it is to continue doing what Jesus did through the aid of the Holy Spirit. So what did Jesus do? He helped people overcome the divides that separate them from God and each other.
One of my favorite Max Lucado stories is about a Spanish father and son who get into a terrible fight. The father demands that if the son can't see things differently then he can just leave. So the son does and heads to the city. Several days later the father repents of his actions and worries over what might happen to his son. He sets off for the city, but how will he ever find his son in such a large place? So he wrote a sign and made hundreds of copies. It said, "My dear Paco, All is forgiven. Please meet me at noon Saturday in the town square." He posts the signs everywhere, in hotels, bars, restaurants, street posts. Saturday at noon the father arrived at the town square to find...a hundred young men named Paco.
I imagine there is a little Paco inside of all of us, a boy or girl who has been hurt by the divisions of a loved one, yearning to know we are loved and worth loving, wanting to be reconciled.
Paul must have seen many Pacos in his day. He knew people were hungry for the message of love and grace the church had to offer. So he reminded people that Jesus bridges divides. Our great mission is to bring the hope of Christ, the hope that bridges divides, that promotes reconciliation, and helps people experience the love of a God who like a caring Father, yearns to forgive and welcome home.