Devotion Thursday, August 28, 2014 - Ephesians 5:1-2 - Larry Colyar - Cathedral of Hope UCC Dallas Texas

By (Shelley Darling) Thursday, August 28, 2014 by Larry Colyar CoH member Scripture “Be imitators of God as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”- Ephesians 5:1-2 A Word of Hope The book of Ephesians is a general letter addressed primarily to the gentile community and stresses the unity of the Body of Christ who the writer identifies as the church. In Ephesians 4:4 the writer says, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to be the one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all…” And yet the writer of this letter knew that there was something less than unity in this community of faith. In chapter four of Ephesians the writer lists several things that a follower of Christ should or should not do, because, as he says, “. . . we are members of one another.” (4:25) He mentions telling the truth rather than lying. He mentions that one should not steal but get a job and work honestly. He says, “Let no evil talk come out of our mouths, but only what is useful for building up…” In verse 31 he says, “Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” A few Sundays ago Jose Antonio Vargas gave the sermon at church about the tragedy of the immigrant children at our Texas border. You who were there may recall Jason H. singing the John Lennon song “Imagine” during the service. Look up the lyrics online if you don’t recall them. I thought of those lyrics as I read this passage from Ephesians. Imagine what the world would/could be like if there was no lying. Imagine what it would be like if we put away our bitterness and wrath toward others which often leads to death and destruction and genocide for racial and religious reasons. Imagine using our words to build up others rather than slandering even our friends which leads to heartbreak and feelings of abandonment. Imagine what the world would be like if we, all of us, forgave each other always, just as God through Christ has forgiven each of us. Just imagine! I close with what John Lennon said.“You, you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope some day you’ll join us And the world will live as one.” Prayer Holy one, Help us to be imitators of you by being expressions of love and forgiveness to all we encounter. Amen. If you would like to receive the Cathedral of Hope devotion, we would love to be able to send it to you directly. Sign up today to receive your own copy.

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Devotion Wednesday, August 27, 2014, - Mark 6.8 - Dan Peeler - Minister for Children and Families - Dallas - Cathedral of Hope UCC Dallas Texas