In 9th grade, I was lined up at the free throw line. The visiting team was shooting a free throw, we were down by two, and I was ready to grab the rebound. I was probably the most motivated I had ever been. The shot went up, it bounced to my side, I grabbed the rebound. At that moment, I should have thrown it to the outlet guy and went to score the typing basket. But what did I do? I jumped as high as possible and easily scored a basket with little competition from the opposition and subsequently scored for the opposing team. The crowd from the visitors went wild along with the opposing team, and my teamates just shook their heads. I never felt more alone, even though I was among so many people.
This Sunday I am preaching on Ephesians 2, when the Gentile people in the church were feeling far away from others in the church and in many ways God. They felt as if they had shot at the wrong basket. They were considered to be the "unclean" ones in the church, while the Jews had all the rights and privileages of the church. Paul writes "For he himself (Christ) is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace" He joined Jews and Gentiles together and more importantly joined them to the Father.
In the same way, we often feel far away from God. Maybe due to a struggle, questions, or because your prayers have not been answered. But as we read these words, Paul reminds us that He is our peace, we are not alone, even though the world might deny us, due to the cross our Lord will never leave us.
Remember that next time you shoot at the wrong basket.