By Garth Whewell
I’m sure you’re familiar with the Latin phrase E pluribus unum found on the Seal of the United States of America. It means, “Out of many, one.” Our nation is proud of the fact that we have been populated by people from every walk of life. We are a nation of diversity, but within that diversity we have unity.
Once you are a citizen of the United States of America, no matter your ethnicity, no matter your background, you are no longer a foreigner or alien and you can enjoy all the benefits included in citizenship.
Once We Were Foreigners
“Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ” (Ephesians 2:12, NIV, 1984).
Paul reminds us in his letter to the church in Ephesus that at one time we were not a part of God’s promise. It is as if we were aliens in a foreign land and we were not eligible to receive the benefits of citizenship. We were Gentiles by birth and not eligible to receive the great blessings promised to the family of God. We were on the outside looking in, unable to access God’s immeasurable grace.
Now We Are Citizens
“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household” (v. 19).
Then God sent a Savior, and out of many we became one. Because of God’s infinite love for you, he has given you an opportunity to become a citizen with his people through your faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
This is the time of year we celebrate the birth of that Savior. However, we must not celebrate the birth without also remembering the cross, for it was upon the cross where the redemptive work of Jesus Christ was accomplished.
Consequently, through his sacrifice and his redemptive work, you can decide to accept God’s gift of salvation and no longer be a foreigner, but a fellow citizen and a member of God’s household. If you haven’t already, won’t you decide to follow Jesus?
Garth Whewell is a bi-vocational minister. He is the general manager for a landscaping company and currently ministers at Rising Sun Christian Church and Allison Prairie Church of the Brethren. He lives in Lawrence County Illinois with his wife, Christy, and their two children, Wyatt and Elsie.