Members of God's Household

Ephesians 2:15-22

Ephesians 2:15-22 is taken from a section of the letter to the Ephesians in which the author seeks to explain to his readers the meaning of Christian community and our unity in Christ.

The first metaphor used in the extended passage is that of body: Jesus has united Jews and Gentiles into one body, “creat[ing] in himself one new person in place of the two” (2:15).

The second metaphor is that of the political unit: through Jesus “you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones” (2:19).

The third metaphor is the household, the basic unit of Greco-Roman society that included parents, children, and slaves.

The fourth metaphor is a building, “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone” (2:20).

The metaphors are brought together at the end as we are told that Jesus holds everything together as we grow “into a temple” and “are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (2:21-22). This is the community into which we are initiated with the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist.

Living the Sacraments