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Friday, June 10, 2016

Today’s Reading | Ephesians 4:1–16  

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. 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. 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.) 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. (NRSV)

This passage reminds me of the line, “No person is an island.” While some might argue this, the fact is that God did not create us to live in isolation but to live in beloved community. The problem is that we do not always do that, or sometimes we have a distorted idea of what a beloved community looks like. Here we have a clear example: it is the body of Christ in the world, and we are called to be that body.

But it’s not that easy, there is more to being the body. Like all that makes up our own bodies, we must grow and thrive and each do our part.

When a baby is born, parents love and care for it; a baby cannot survive alone. Each of us comes into the world dependent on the people around us for everything. So why would we think that this is any different as we grow as a body of people? To do this, we must support one another, and we must tend to our responsibilities as given to us by Christ: to love the Lord with all that we are, and to love our neighbors the same. By doing these things, we live into God’s intention for us as God’s creation: to be the beloved community.

Creator God, you made us to be your beloved community here on earth. Help us to see the ways in which we distort what it means to be your beloved community, and help us live into authenticity as we love you and those around us. Support each of us as we support one another, and help us to allow others to support us when we are too stubborn to do so. Amen.

Written by Shelley Donaldson, Senior High and Confirmation Youth Coordinator

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