Day 31

Wednesday of the Fifth Week in Lent

April 10th, 2019

Meditation
  • If you live in a house or share an apartment with others, you know the challenge of living in a shared space. Over time, there are “pet peeves” you embody. When someone loses the remote and you go berserk. When a guy in the house leaves the toilet seat up, it can set off a revolt by the women in the house. Living in close proximity with others has its “ups” and “downs”.

    The beauty of living in community with brothers and sisters cannot be understated. But with the beauty and power of community comes the potential for a brother/sister to inflict harm on another brother/sister. Often, our hunger to be isolated from others is the result of us being hurt by someone else. The easiest way to avoid this is for people to completely avoid doing harm to others. While Paul would certainly advocate living in such a way that did no harm to others, he knew that it was inevitable that people would get hurt and offended by others. Accordingly, his call to the Ephesians was to not allow anger to control them and to embody forgiveness and love in the same way Christ embodied forgiveness and love.

    David Lipscomb once wrote, “"Forbearance, Christian forbearance (patience), is what is needed now to allay the passions, heal the divisions and strifes, and put us in a condition that we may all be brought to see our wrongs, and that we may be prepared to avoid those difficulties in the future by keeping ourselves free from entangling alliances with the world-powers. Every one should strive to see how much of wrong he had done and make amends for it, and to see how much he can overlook and forgive in his brother. Thus peace and harmony will be restored to our divided and sundered brotherhood, and as one people in the Lord we may labor and toil and rejoice in the Lord.” These words were written shortly after the conclusion of the US Civil War. May we have the same spirit among us in the body of Christ in the 21st century.

Scripture(s)
  • Ephesians 4:25-5:2

    25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”[a]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.

    29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Contributor

Dion Frasier

Preaching Minister
Reynoldsburg Church of Christ

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