Prayer: Dear God, by our humility, gentleness, patience and love, may we be bonded in peace. So grateful that is all you ask for us to be worthy. Amen
Reading: Ephesians 4: 1-16 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: In this part of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he writes, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called…” (v. 1) What a loaded request! First of all, Paul himself is a prisoner, so surely his listeners are thinking, “We have no excuses for not doing our best seeing as we are not in prison!” Second, that challenge to live a life worthy. What could do that would possibly be worthy enough as we sit pretty out here while Paul is in prison for what he does?
One might start to think this walk of faith needs great courage and heroics, flashy acts and achievements, superhuman Paul sort of stuff. Fortunately, before everyone despairs of not possibly being worthy, Paul continues by saying to simply, “lead a life…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.” (v. 2)
Oh, phew! That we can do: humility, gentleness, patience (admitted weak point here) and maintaining unity (another easier said than done). Sure, along the way there may be times when we will be courageous and heroic…with strength from God. There may be times when a wonder happens and there is an impressive achievement…to God be the glory! But if on any given day we are at the most or at the least bearing with one another in love, that is certainly worthy and we will be bonded in peace. --Ruth Gates, Camp Mount Luther Family Camper
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