Scripture: Ephesians 4:1-16
Key verses: (1-2) “I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love…”
Reflection: Humility, gentleness, patience, bearing with one another in love, unity in peace. This is the life to which you have been called. At first glance these lifestyle postures may seem meek, mild, and boring. Who wants to be called to a life of patience when I can get what I want now? Who wants to be called to a life of humility when I can receive recognition for the hard work I have done? Who wants to be called to a life of gentleness when I can force to get things exactly how I like it? Who wants to be called to a life of bearing with one another when others are just plain unbearable? Who wants to be called to a life of unity in peace when aggression and “us vs. them” is all we have ever known?
Instead of meek and mild, this life to which we have been called is revolutionary, revolutionary as it dares to place unity over individuality, service over being served, listening over being heard, patience over immediacy, the well being of all over the gain of a few. Again and again Paul stresses the “oneness” of the church, and of all people. One body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God, who is above all and through all and in all.
The passage finishes by talking about all of the gifts that each of us brings to this calling of oneness. While we are united as one, our gifts are many and different. I wonder what gift you bring? What gifts do you naturally have that promote the life to which we are called? What gifts can you work on and strengthen? By the grace of God we are each given gifts for unity and peace; may we use them well, recognize them in others, and glorify God in all that we do.
Prayer: Gracious God, we give you thanks for the gifts which you have granted us. Empower us to use these gifts for unity and peace, for the sake of all so that we may be one, lifting each other up in your love. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Author: John Magnuson
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].