From Rev Dr Tom Nibbe
Scripture - Ephesians 4:1-16
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:1-6 (NIV)
The Epistle lesson for this Sunday is recorded in Saint Paul's Letter to the Ephesians. In this portion of the New Testament, Paul seeks by his letter to bring about unity within the local body there in the city of Ephesus. What he encourages the Ephesians to do is what we should be encouraged to do:
He writes (verse one) - as a prisoner for the Lord:
"I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received."
How are we to fulfill that call...?
Some years ago a lady in my congregation expressed the following to me: "I can't stand that woman!" in regard to another lady in the congregation. I replied, "You know, dear lady, you're going to have to be with that woman for all eternity...what a prospect!" She replied, "What am I to do?" Without a pause I opened my mouth unable to know how to help her and the words came out [via the Holy Spirit], "Take her to lunch..." Reply: "You've got to be kidding."
Keep unity of the Spirit through the bond of Peace.
Saint Paul goes on (verse 4): "...there is one body and one Spirit---just as you were called to one hope when you were called---one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all..."
BUT - to each one of us - GRACE has been given (as Christ apportioned it.)
What does this all mean?
Well, we all share the same Spiritual inheritance:
In a more direct understanding of Paul's intention, he addresses the tendency we have in the Church to create division. It was there in Paul's time and it certainly is there present these days, for sure.