Unity for the called
1 I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
What is your calling? Why here and now? For what purpose? This is something we all need to find for ourselves: where is God calling me?
An important first step, but this is only the first part of Paul’s exhortation to the church in Ephesus. If you know your calling then you are to lead a life worthy of that calling: a holy life.
I am called to be a shepherd of God’s people, but, like everyone at some point in their calling, I make mistakes I fail. We will all fail what God is calling us to do at some point.
Paul is instructing them to be humble, gentle people with patience for each other. Bearing one another in love. We are to be uplifting to one another: even in our mistakes. Living holy lives doesn’t mean we will execute our calling perfectly. It does require us to get better at following Jesus; to continually lead a life worthy of what God has called each of us to do.
Being united as the body of Christ is making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (v. 3). Often, we make very little effort - if any effort at all. Making every effort means you try your best in every way to maintain the unity of the body. If you had an accident and you lost the use of your arm, but the doctors said that with physical therapy (and a lot of hard work) you could regain 100% of your arm movement. You would do everything you could to get that arm back. This is making every effort.
Are we are a united church? Not universally. Churches in The Dalles don’t come together. Some may say, that’s okay I’ll go somewhere else. Or that’s just how people are. Or, I’ve been in a church long enough I’ll just ignore it and it will go away. Are we fostering a Spirit of Unity in this church? Do people want to find their calling because we are making every effort to promote a sense of togetherness? Do we have grace when people falter and then help them to continue living holy? Just some food for thought this week as the Holy Spirit continues to guide and direct us...