Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Thursday Prior to Proper 13


Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-16 — Bread makes for bodily growth. Christians are to live lives worthy of their calling in love, unity, and growth to maturity in Christ. The church is urged to become what they are by the grace of Christ. Paul appeals for unity on the basis of the unity of Spirit and body. Various functions are gifts of Christ to equip the members and to build up the church in love. The goal of the growth is the matching of the stature of Jesus so that we are not children but mature in faith and love.

Paul identifies himself here as a prisoner of Christ. At other times he refers to himself as a servant, apostle, ambassador and spokesman. To be a prisoner of Christ is to suffer for him. When we are zealous Christians, we will be subject to the opposition and persecution of the enemy, Satan. The test of the true Christian is the suffering he/she experiences in living out the Christian faith.

Seven times the word “one” is used. Repetition indicates the importance of the word in the thinking of Paul. On one side is the word “all”, and on the other side is “one.” All are to be one in Christ, in hope, faith, and love. This unity is demanded because we have one God, one faith, one Spirit.

The word “unity” gives us the insight into the Christian religion as a process of becoming what we are by the grace of God. We are not what we have been and what we will be. We are a growing people of God. We are in the process of attaining unity, of building up the church, of matching the full stature of Jesus. This “until” continues to the end of our existence on earth and is only completed in the heavenly world to come. [2]

Collect for Proper 13Merciful Father, You gave Your Son Jesus as the heavenly bread of life. Grant us faith to feast on Him in Your Word and Sacraments that we may be nourished unto life everlasting;; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen[3] -29 July 2021

[1] Loaves and Fish, copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things

[2] Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B, John Brokhoff © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH

[3] Collect for Proper 13, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

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