Prayer: Help us, O Lord, to clean all the mud and grime from our hearts. Help us to be kind, loving, and forgiving, just as you love and forgive us. Amen.
Reading: Ephesians 4:25 – 5:2 (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: My kids love the Unami Creek, which winds its way through the woods just a few miles from our house in Upper Bucks County. They have a great time splashing in the creek, playing with the rocks, and especially getting covered in mud!
It’s all fun and games…until it’s time to get in the car and drive home. I have them wipe off as much mud as they can, sit on their towels in the car, and make them promise when they get home to “Go straight upstairs, don’t touch anything, get those muddy clothes off, and hop straight into the tub!”
Even though I’m not much of a housekeeper, I still don’t want that mud and dirty water all over the house. Even if they do make a mess, which they inevitable do, it’s relatively easy to deal with dirt and grime that we can see. We can bathe our bodies and wash our hair, and use stain stick and bleach on our clothes, etc.
In his letters to the Ephesians, Paul reminds us to “Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice.” He also tells us to “Be angry but do not sin.”
How do we do this? There are only a few Bible verses that I know by heart. One of them is, of course, Ephesians 4:32, because it’s a camp song!
Be ye kind, one unto another:
Tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
Just as God, for Christ’s sake
Has commanded you.
Doo, doo, doodle-y doo.
Even when we forget to be kind, we are forgiven. When we’re covered in metaphorical mud, we’re forgiven. When we’re angry and we yell and scream, we are forgiven. When we’re angry and we fume in silence, we are forgiven. God always forgives us. All of us. No matter what. –Christine Conz Moll, Camp Mount Luther Alumni Camper
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