Once you have accepted the invitation of the Gospel message through Jesus Christ, to mature so that my life is reshaped and transformed. I look up to God, and I look outward to those around me. We spent three chapters talking about our theology—what we believe about God and our relationship with him. Now it’s time to look outward toward others, to practice what we preach in the home, in the church, and in the world.
2 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. 3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. 4 For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. 5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all. Ephesians 4:2-6
The Passion Translation has a footnote on the word “generous” as it describes love in verse 2: “the literal translation of this word from the Aramaic is ‘stretching.'” This reminded me of a childhood toy: Gumby and his horse pal Pokey. You could pull and stretch these two into all kinds of impossible positions, and sometimes the love we are asked to show makes us feel like we are stretched so far that we’ll break soon. And we would break if we were on our own, but God’s love stretches on to infinity, and it’s His love that is in us.
Pray with me.
Lord, take my arms and let them be as stretchy as those of Gumby. Give me “go-go-gadget” arms that can enfold everyone I encounter. And let that stretchiness begin in my heart as it is filled with your endless supply of love. Counter my selfish humanity with your humble, gentle, and loving patience so the I bring peace and hope with me into every room. This is only possible because you are living in me, so it is your love, peace, and hope that spreads throughout my neighborhood. Thank you, Lord, for all the blessings you pour out on us. Amen.
Sing along with “For King and Country” as they sing “By Our Love”