Thought For The Week 8 August 2021
We’ve been enjoying a sojourn through Paul’s letter to the Ephesians over the past few weeks and todays’ reading from chapter 4:25-5:2 presents a challenge for the preacher; it contains many ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’. The list of don’ts is lengthy; speaking falsehoods, anger, theft, unwholesome talk, bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander and malice. That Paul mentions these specifically suggest they were common behaviours in that time and place- even in the church!
No community would last long or function in healthy ways if these things continued so Paul offers a better way. He begins with truth telling instead of falsehood. Instead of stealing he admonishes honest work so that we would have something to share with those in need. He encourages speech that builds others up. Kindness, compassion and forgiveness round off his list. In all this he has the community, not the individual in mind. All the don’ts are things that destroy community while also destroying the individual. For Paul, the church is to be the unified body of Christ, his representative and foretaste of the kingdom of God in the earth. So, anything that destroys that unity is like a disease in the body that needs healing.
He concludes with the staggering suggestion to follow God’s example… and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us. Jesus is our example of forgiveness, love and self-sacrifice.
Please note: if you have any items of general business you would like discussed at the AGM, these need to be submitted in writing to the parish clerk by August 20th. Items of general business will be included at the discretion of the parish council.