A life worthy

Thursday

Ephesians 4:1-16

File:105mm Light Artillery Guns at Military Pageant MOD 45156133.jpg1I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called.

We set such low standards for ourselves. “I’m only human…” “Well if you had heard what she said…” “Why should I give when no one else is contributing…?”

And yet we seem to lack such charity with others.

We surrender easily to prejudices. We yield to the tantalizing delight of gossip (dismissing what we are doing as gossip). We see the sliver in our neighbor’s eye without ever seeing the mote in our own. We are not far different than those who chant “Death to America” – just replacing the object our hostility. We celebrate the death of “terrorists” without wondering who these people are and whether killing is good or the government is telling us the truth or just naming them all the dead as “terrorists”. We have been made uncomfortable this last year with images of the police being frail and sometimes vengeful human beings rather than the noble officers we want to believe them to be. The haves need very much to believe the system is just and fair; it blesses our privilege as our just reward.

“A life worthy of the calling.”

At the heart of Christian faith is a model of heroic sacrifice. At the heart of Christian faith is a good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep. We have been content to receive the blessings of his self-offering without following in his footsteps.

Christ gave everything, but we are parsimonious. Christ welcomed the outcasts, but we are comfortable casting them out. Christ received the foreigner and healed the Syro-Phoenician’s daughter, but we build walls – or want to build walls. We who cheered the dismantling of the Berlin Wall, how do we preach the building of walls in Israel or along our border? And what about the unseen walls that preserve our neighborhoods?

“A life worthy of the calling.”

We bear an honorable name. We bear the name of the Father of all and Redeemer of all. How is it that we permit ourselves to be vain, petty and selfish? We are inheritors of the Kingdom, partakers of the Spirit of God. How is it that we live the vainglories of this world?

“A life worthy of the calling.”

A life worthy of the calling to be children of the kingdom. A life worthy of the calling to be the voice of God in the world. A life worthy of the calling to be agents of reconciliation. A life worthy of the calling to be healers and peacemakers. A life worthy of the calling to seek and do justice, to be mindful of the weak, to life up the poor, to be grace to the burdened and hope for the despairing. A life worthy of the calling to be a city set on a hill, a light shining in the darkness. A life worthy of the calling that none should go hungry and he that has two coats should share with him who has none. A life worthy of the calling of him who is perfect love.

“A life worthy of the calling.”

For a calling it is.

 

Photo: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3A105mm_Light_Artillery_Guns_at_Military_Pageant_MOD_45156133.jpg. Photo credit: 103 Regt (V) RA/MOD [OGL (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/1/)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
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