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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Today's Scripture 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)

God calls each of us in unique ways—note: God does not call us in the same ways. Although God calls us to unity of the faith and to speak in truth, this doesn’t mean we need to be the same.

I love this passage because it encourages us to dig deep into the individual gifts God gives us while also unifying us into the body of Christ. There are many cultural forces that push us to conform to living the same way. This can manifest in many ways, such as always wearing matching socks or in the perception of life success.

What if some of those cultural “rules” didn’t rule our life but God’s call for us actually did? What if we were to live—even one day—purely as God creates our humanity to express itself? What if we practiced self-love instead of shame when we don’t fit into the “norm” of our culture? What if we even (gasp) raised an arm in worship when we felt moved by the Spirit?

Join me today in meditating on God’s call for us and living it in new and small ways!

Empowering Spirit, help us live your call boldly! Amen.

Written by Abbi Heimach-Snipes, Pastoral Resident

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