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.
7 But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it is said,
“When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive;
he gave gifts to his people.”
9 (When it says, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.) 11 The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. 14 We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. 15 But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love. – Ephesians 4:1-16
During our very fun and successful VBS this past June, I was assigned to the Fueling Station, along with several others. A team provided the children with fuel for their stomachs in the form of snacks and I provided them with fuel for their hearts and minds by teaching them about Missio Dei, the mission of God.
Quite conveniently, I incorporated much information from my March 2018 Uganda experience.
The last day of VBS, our take away or principle was; Live like you are part of a bigger story. Keeping with the African theme, I had each group interpret an African Proverb. Here are the proverbs.
- Cross a river in a crowd and a crocodile won’t eat you.
- Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable
- A single bracelet does not jingle.
- A single stick will smoke but it may not burn.
- If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
Are you feeling a theme here? Together, community, oneness and unity, perhaps? Here in Ephesians, Paul clearly focuses on these things and teaches us that as believers we are to be invested in and work hard at keeping unity and peace within the church. He goes on to tell us that we’re able to preserve this unity because God has given each of us different gifts to be used within our church community. Finally, as we let the word of God mature us and participate in the church, not simply attend church, his church will flourish and become a life-giving body of Christ.
We thank you for Paul’s wonderful description of the church and that we can use this as our model here at Bayshore. Help us to remember that we are ALL necessary and that this Bayshore family would not be complete without anyone of us. Amen.