July 29

Ephesians 4:1-10

“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, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” vss. 1-3

Followers of Jesus from the beginning have understood themselves to be his living presence in the world. Early on they began to speak of living in Christ, or alternatively, that Christ lived in them. More specifically they believed that the Church was the physical manifestation of Christ in the world–in other words, they were the Body of Christ. Paul believed that this was a holy calling, that followers of Jesus had been set aside to make a difference, that through them the whole world would be transformed. He therefore called upon them to lead a life worthy of that calling, a life marked with humility, gentleness, and patience–and bearing with one another in love. These are remarkable words, ones that deserve particular attention in our troubled and divisive times. Even though we recognize that the Spirit of God works through those holding a variety of religious viewpoints, there is still value in considering ourselves a part of the Church–it remains a holy calling! Sadly, too often people calling themselves Christians are known for their arrogance, impatience, divisiveness, and hypocrisy. It seems as though something has gone very wrong! Praise God for those who take their call to holiness seriously–it’s through them that Christ’s mission continues!

Thought for the Day: What has gone wrong for so many Church members?

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