Today’s (Fr 05/01/2018) FDR is Ephesians 5:1-20
The previous readings in the last few days have sought to remind us of our response to God on becoming Christians. (Thanks Steve for these.) Much of the underlying theme of each of these is the path made smooth for us by Jesus. Just as the lead Sherpa, when climbing Mt Everest, seeks to find the best path for we who are following, to tread trustingly to reach our goal. So are Jesus demonstrations and instructions about how to live as believers in this world.
So that we as faithful Christians may adopt a lifestyle that exemplifies God as described in these 20 verses.
vv 1 & 2 asks us to not just talk to the talk, but to walk the walk. That is to act in Christian ways, “to walk in the way of love.” Essentially we are encouraged to act as Christ taught us. Yes even to imitate God by taking on Jesus example of behaviour.
vv 3 -7 Provides us with a list of behaviours and people who behave in these ways that are to be rejected.
vv 8 – 20 encourages us to ” . . live as children of light . .” (v8), “. . making the most of every opportunity, . .” (v16), ” but understand what the Lord’s will is.” (v17b) and “. . .be filled with the Spirit, . .” (v18b).
Hebrews 10: 23 & 24 has this to say about why we should act like this;
23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Martin Luther (1483-1546) picks up on the continual imperative of imitating God with these words:
This life, therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed. (1)
Lastly, but not least, we should ask for guidance and assistance through prayer;
Holy, blessed and glorious Trinity, three persons in one God,
have mercy on me.
Almighty God, Creator and sustainer of the universe, I worship you.
Lord Jesus Christ, Saviour and Lord of the World, I worship you.
Holy Spirit, Sanctifier of the people of God, I worship you.
Heavenly Father, I pray that I may live this day in your presence and please you more and more.
Lord Jesus, I pray that this day I may take up my cross and follow you.
Holy Spirit, I pray that this day you will fill me with yourself and cause your fruit to ripe in my life: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now, and shell be forever.
(1) Defense and Explanation of All the Articles”, transl. Charles M. Jacobs, in Luther’s Works, Volume 34 (Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1958), 24.