August 17

Ephesians 5:18-20

“Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts…” vss. 18-19

Passages like this provide a window into the life of an early Christian community and give a glimpse of those practices that brought strength and joy to believers. Evidently their culture, like ours, offered options for those who wanted to get high. Wine seems to have been a popular alternative…it has long been a way to escape the drudgeries of boredom and routine. We do the same…and have even a greater variety of mind-altering chemicals and drinks. Paul suggests a healthier alternative, one that will not lead to decline and debauchery. Instead of drinking the Ephesians are advised to be filled with the Spirit, a feeling that comes as the community lifts its voices in songs of praise and thanksgiving. People of faith know how that works…week after week it’s the music of worship that brings God close…and we love it. And for some it doesn’t end at church…they carry the melodies in their hearts through the week…it’s their daily high…fueled not by alcohol but by the Spirit. And there are no wretched hangovers or headaches! Instead there’s an ongoing feeling of joy that lights our faces and brings the love of Christ to all we encounter.

Thought for the Day: What melody am I making to the Lord in my heart?

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