Ephesians 4:1-6 - Lectionary for Trinity 17
Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
“Walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.” So Paul admonishes the Ephesians in chapter four verse one. How do we walk? What kind of walk is worthy of our call? For that matter, what is the call that a Christian receives?
The apostle Paul is a prisoner for the Lord. He is not only bound to God’s will by his commitment to trust Jesus. He is also a prisoner, a real, physical prisoner, probably often fastened to something by means of a chain. He has laid his life down for the Gospel. He values Christ’s forgiveness more than he values his own freedom, his relationships, even his very life.
As Christians, we who look to Jesus for forgiveness give ourselves into willing submission to the Lord. We confess that we have no authority of our own, no self sufficiency, no right to tell God what to do in any way.
The Christian walk, then, is a walk of humility. We gather to confess our sins and to hear God’s words of forgiveness. We gather to hear God’s Law and Gospel, so we are prepared to hear that we have failed and that Jesus’ righteousness has been applied to us. We gather to receive nourishment to eternal life in the Sacrament, because we ourselves cannot arrange even a long life by our striving. The Christian life is humble.
In our humility, Paul goes on to say we are gentle, patient, and eager for unity. However, let’s notice that the unity is centered in a Christian faith which is a very particular thing. Our unity is not built on compromise or on minimizing the importance of truth. On the contrary, it is built on the accurate teaching of God’s truth as revealed in Scripture and lived out by Jesus. Again, we are walking in humility. Our own desires and interpretations of life are placed in submission to God’s Word. This is humility. We are to walk as prisoners of God in Christ.
Here is life. Here is hope. Here is a walk worthy of God’s high calling to us.
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