A Word from Pastor Stephen – April 8, 2020
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)
Paul spent a lot of time in jail. This letter to the Ephesians was written from a prison cell in Rome. How can Paul live out a life worthy of the calling he has received when he is sitting in jail? For Paul, it did not matter where he was, or the circumstances he found himself in at any given moment. His whole focus was always on a crucified and resurrected Jesus. I’m sure every prison guard heard about Jesus. I’m sure every prisoner chained with him heard about Jesus. We should all have the unrestraiained enthusiasm for Jesus that Paul expressed.
There is a tradition that tells us that many of these Roman soldiers that guarded Paul were given other assignments and transferred around the Roman Empire just as the military still does today. As these guards went, many shared the good news with others they had heard from Paul while they were guarding him in prison. Never underestimate how far your witness for Jesus may travel.
So if Paul can walk in a manner worthy of his calling in prison, then we have no excuse to live out the calling each of us has received. Even during this time of a “safer at home” order, we are still interacting with people every day in some virtual form or by phone. Even when we do venture out your can sense the tension and anxiety in people. We always have the opportunity to be a shining light and calming presence for Jesus.
In this passage Paul give us wonderful advice about how to live out our calling. This advice is especially true during this pandemic which has gripped so many with fear and uncertainty. If you are a follower of Jesus, read these words carefully and follow them. Our world needs Christians who heeds these words.
“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 a recipe for walking with Jesus each and every day. Go and be that humble, gentle and patient light to the world. Amen.