Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Father, I was so separated from Christ and honestly didn’t know it or care. I had been in church all my life and heard the stories of Jesus, but I never thought of them as making any real difference in my life.
I made decisions based on what my parents taught me and on my own assessment of what was good for me. I didn’t think about You much at all and certainly, even when I did, I didn’t think in terms of any kind of personal relationship with You. I didn’t talk to You and I didn’t listen to You. I didn’t really know the Bible and had relatively little curiosity or motivation to know it.
I struggled, perhaps as many high schoolers do, with what I was supposed to do in life. I wrestled with youthful lusts and sometimes felt a little alienated and adrift in life. But I never considered what You might have to say about all that.
Then, when You got right up in my face through a friend of mine at school and also through a young man who had come to our church to share his understanding of what it meant to be a true follower of Jesus, I saw things like I had never seen them before.
It was like a filter was taken off my eyes and I could see clearly for the first time. Everything suddenly made sense in light of the truth that You were my Creator and my soul’s best Friend and the One who had forgiven me of all my wanderings from You. You had been so amazingly patient with me and merciful.
I did not realize that I was now part of a bigger movement of Yours, calling out a people from the earth that had begun with one nation, Israel, and that Jesus had been born a part of this nation and was the fulfillment of all the promises You had made to them. What I did realize was that for the first time in my life I had hope. I had a purpose, the purpose of living my life for You, and this gave me hope.
This temporary and short life was not all there was. The blood of Your Son had given me a relationship with You and all others who knew You. You had made me part of Your great story of redeeming the world from its blindness, its self-imposed blindness.
Remember? How could I ever forget?!