Scripture: Ephesians 5:1-32
Key verses: (1, 2, 15-20) 1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, 2 and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
15 Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, 16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil. 17 So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, 20 giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Reflection: I used to say that I love Diet Coke and getting to work early. I love movie previews and blah blah blah.
After this time of sheltering, I can go a bit deeper … can you? I love a good conditioner for my hair. I love butter and spices. I love a good book and a rocking chair. I love a cup of hot tea. I love time to listen to birds. I love 8 a.m. morning prayer, yes, on ZOOM.
Some of those things I love have been sabbath and others have facilitated deeper relationships with my family but I wonder if we can go even deeper still?
The incarnational, unconditional nature of Christ-like love could be lost amid our claims to LOVE strawberries and beautiful weather. Love has become such a nebulous, fuzzy, catch-all term that we can easily resist thinking about what must be present for us to live in love. It is easy for us to think about love when it is in relation to things that can’t love us back, but living in love takes some risks.
When Christ calls us to imitate God through love, we are called to combine the bonds of tender care, true friendship, selfless desire, mature commitment and social concern into an appropriate mixture in our relationships.
LOVE just as we LIVE. I think that is what this scripture is about.
Love as a way of living, a way of interacting with everyone in the world. Ourselves, our family and even those we have yet to meet. It is in loving each other that we find ourselves opening up to God in new and deeper ways. It is in relationships that we experience holy moments. At the same time the potential for the holy is also limited when we limit the depth of our love or when we limit how we will allow others to love us.
When we live in love, something transformational happens. Love is powerful to watch. It transforms not only those in the relationship, but those around who witness its power. It is a glimpse of the kingdom of God.
We have a choice. To live in Love or to live in fear.
We have some time this summer. Let’s be intentional and live in love.
Prayer: God, give me courage to see others as you see them. May I have a bold faith to love each person with your love and live in love each moment of today. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[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].