Attending boarding school meant that from the age of 14 I lived on school campus and only went home a couple of times a term. While this certainly helped my independence it also came with some great challenges.
Reference: v.13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. (NIV Bible)
Explore: For the last four years of my secondary school education I went to boarding school. This meant that from the age of 14 I lived on school campus and only went home a couple of times a term. While this certainly helped my independence and led to some great opportunities at a tertiary level, it didn't come without some great challenges. I was often homesick, I missed my hometown friends and I also struggled to find a supportive church to be a part of. I can remember being driven back to school one weekend by the minister of my home church. When I had explained to him some of the struggles I was going through he admitted that he hadn't really taken into consideration how difficult it would be. And he repeated a saying that still stings me when I hear it, he said, "I guess it's a bit of 'Out of Sight, Out of Mind'. Basically he was saying that because he didn't see me regularly he rarely thought of me. From a lonely, homesick situation this was no great comfort to me!
The Bible, on the other hand, has many comforting words in it. This verse speaks to the Gentiles who were veiwed as those who were seperated from God. And yet here Paul reminds us all that through the sacrifice of Jesus we can all draw close to God.
Application: There are times in our lives when we can feel distant from God. We may be so caught up in our own lives that we forget to keep God at the centre. It may be a time of grief and loss and we wonder where God is in all our emotion. But no matter what stage of life we are at, God desires to be close to us. If he didn't he would not have bothered to sacrifice his son so that we could all be 'brought near'. Jesus has reached out his arms wide to embrace us however we must act as well. Jesus has given the invitation however it is also up to us to respond. Although he may seem distant to you today, know that Jesus was crucified so that even when we feel 'far away (we) have been brought near'.
Prayer: Lord, the more we explore the sacrifice you made the more amazing your love and grace becomes. Thank you for drawing us near, even when we feel we don't deserve it. Amen.
When are the times you feel most distant from God? What helps you to 'draw near'?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.