In this passage from the New Testament letter to the Ephesians, Christians are called to be “imitators of God”. This does not mean Christians are expected to be perfect; we know we all fall short. Rather, it means that we choose to open to the Spirit at work in our lives- quickening, healing, guiding, encouraging- so that our actions and attitudes might seek to genuinely reflect the love and forgiveness we have received through Christ. To be a disciple of Jesus is to live under this discipline- and it can be hard work!

How would the life of the Church- indeed, the life of our American society- be transformed, if every professed Christian strove to live by these precepts?

How would our own life be changed?  It is worth pondering our own call to discipleship and consider where we might deepen our practice. Pastor Annette

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25So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another.

26Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27and do not make room for the devil.

28Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy.

29Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.

30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption.

31Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice,

32and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.

5:1Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, 2and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 4:25–5:2)