…do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
…For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light…Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Eph 4:30–5:2, 5:8-13, 5:15-20
Yesterday was our final message in our Lenten series through Ephesians. While I didn’t post the entire scripture passage above (due to space), feel free to read Ephesians 4:25–6:9. A large passage indeed, but we took a look from a distance and found three main ideas that pertain to a life of personal mission:
- Imitate Christ
- Live a life of character and integrity
- Make the most of your time
The ESV translation of Ephesians 5:1-2 says: “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” We live a life of character and integrity when we imitate our Creator and walk in love as demonstrated by Jesus Christ. We have 86,400 seconds a day to be the hands and feet of Christ in this world—how will we spend those seconds?
How we treat one another—in both word and actions—matters. Pastor John told the story of a one-lane bridge with a “YIELD” sign on both ends. As the traveler first traveled across he waited and yielded. On his journey back, he was surprised to see the same “YIELD” sign at the opposite end of the bridge. But that is how we are to live our lives—mutually yielding to one another out of reverence for Jesus. We start with those we love the most, for those are often the ones we treat the worse. And we treat all we meet with kindness, compassion and the love of God.
Finally we reflected on Christ’s mission, and how that was lived out by Jesus, particularly in the last week of his life. Sunday he road into town on a donkey, a symbol of peace, being heralded as Lord and King. Yet by the end of the week he was betrayed by his friend, taken before the religious elite in the dark hours of the night, faced Pilate, who found no wrong in him but turned him over to be killed nonetheless. Finally, he died a shameful and painful death on a cross he didn’t deserve and was buried in a tomb he didn’t own.
But we know how the story ends…
For we know it’s Friday…
…but, let me tell you something,
As we wrap up these Lenten reflections on Ephesians, I leave you with one final blessing:
Peace be with you, dear brothers and sisters,
and may God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
give you love with faithfulness.
May God’s grace be eternally upon
all who love our Lord Jesus Christ. Eph 6:23-24
Thank you for joining me (and my church community) through this journey through Ephesians this Lenten season. May your Resurrection Sunday be one of power, redemption and LIFE!
I hope you have also been joining us on Wednesdays for the “7” series (the last 7 statements of Jesus from the cross in poetry, art and song) and on Fridays for the “Embodied” series as we move creatively through the Lenten season here at jodythomae.com. Previous posts in this Ephesians series can be found here:
Creative blessings, Jody