“…to measure of the full stature of Christ.” Ephesians 4: 13
The more I listen to different cross sections of folks these days, the more I realize how divided a people we truly have become! The gulfs between us should come as no surprise to anyone who has been listening in recent years and not just to the news. We have fallen, Christian communities being no exception, into a very troubling “us” and “them” mentality. Ephesians 4: 1-16 is as timely and powerful - given the hurdles that block our coming together - as it was when Paul wrote it some 2,000 years ago.
Forgive Paul’s lack of punctuation here: “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all…speaking the truth in love [not our individual political or embodied truth but the reality of Jesus Christ crucified and risen], we must grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body [that’s all of us], joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped [our own special gifts], as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth [he means community] in building itself up in love.” Think back to your Baptismal promises; know that we are all One community in the Baptized life of Jesus Christ. So, listen patiently to your neighbor, even if you disagree with him or her. Speak the truth of Jesus’ love to them, coloring the content and tenor of whatever you say in reply. We must move outside ourselves, and our communities of like-minded people, if we are going to ever change the conversation from what divides us to what we have in common: “one body, one Spirit, one God and Father of all….”