“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.” (Ephesians 4:1 – 3)
This is a “hard” read after a long day when I just want to sink into my bed and wish the world & all the obligations I feel would just go away. But Paul is persistent, as are the obligations of home; and so I must answer them. But it occurred to me – if I with my relatively minor tasks that must be done bristle at the exhortation that I should complete them showing “a life worthy of the call to which [I] have been called” – how might the church at large, the corporate church feel about minding and measuring their responses to fellow believers? And how, I wonder, might the believers in Ephesus have received this exhortation?
“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.” (Verses 4 – 6)
To put it more bluntly – humanity is to be one believing body under the Divine. Our divisions and divisiveness brings shame upon us where we should glorify the gift and blessing given to us.
“But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it is said, “When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive; he gave gifts to his people.” (When it says, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.)” (Verses 7 – 10)
Jesus descended to our world, our realm but maintained the high/higher standards that the Divine had mandated.
“The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.” (Verses 11 – 16)
I don’t know what more could be added; that is, what more exhortation and correction could be given. We (meaning society and humanity) have not only strayed from the Divine but from one another – although which is the worse offense I do not know.
What I do know is that we (again, society & humanity) must find our way back to the peace and harmony that seems to shimmer as a far off dream and land that we once were in. If there ever was once a place such as that. There are still havens of peace; not all of them, beloved reader, have come about because of mainstream Christian faith. Where they are found, they should be nurtured. And the lessons in compassionate and gentle living that are taught there should be replicated whenever and wherever we can. May you do so, beloved reader!