“You who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Paul expresses this incredible encouragement in Ephesians 2:13 and makes it clear that it is through the blood of Christ and no other action made by us that has brought us near to God. But Paul doesn’t share this strictly as encouragement. In fact, Paul’s purpose in sharing this is as a challenge. A challenge to be unified. A challenge for the Jews who call Abraham their father to unify with people they wouldn’t have shared a meal with before. Looking at the political climate, the hatred inspired by racial and gender inequality, the frustration between groups of people that can’t agree, and the judgement being cast everywhere I look, helps me better understand the challenges and division experienced by the early church. Paul urged for unity in spite of this division and we, as Christians in America, are a fruit of his labor. How can we draw closer to each other today? Who is someone different from me that I could reach out to this week? How can I pursue peace? How can I set my frustration aside in worship? How can I remember that “through [Jesus] we [all] have access to the Father by one Spirit”?