Irvin Wasswa- Tylertown Campus Pastor LHBC
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner 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 eager 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 that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
“Can’t we all just get along”? You may remember that chilling quote voiced by Rodney King in the midst of the horrible Los Angeles riots of 1992. The whole city of Los Angeles was torn in two in large part because of the ruling given by the court of Los Angeles to acquit the four police officers who were being accused for exuding excessive force to Rodney King after a traffic stop. At that time you had to choose a side and that side was chosen based on the color of your skin. The riots resulted in over 60 deaths, over 2,000 people injured, and over 1 billion dollars in damage. The question asked by King was a plea, a cry that has been voiced for many centuries and continues to be voiced today.
The Apostle Paul gives a similar plea to the churches in Ephesus and to us in Ephesians 4. He calls for the believers to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling that has been given.” How was that to be done? He calls for the people to continue to love one another and continue to be eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit with one another. Paul calls for unity. There were two distinct groups who were historically at odds with each other back then: The Jews, and the Gentiles. They hated one another. The Jews looked down on the Gentiles and thought of them as scum. The Gentiles saw the Jewish folks as jerks and haters for their overly pious attitude and how they viewed them. However, there were folks from both groups who had come to faith in Jesus, therefore the call was for them to walk in peace with one another. Paul is saying here that because of the Gospel, the two distinct groups have become one in Christ (Ephesians 2:11-15). It is through the Gospel that people who have different backgrounds can walk in unity with one another, therefore the call is to walk in that unity.
Listen friends, that is the same call for us today. It doesn’t matter what your fellow brother in the Lord looks like, in Christ we are family and we ought to walk in unity with one another. The church body shouldn’t be known for being a group who cannot get along with one another. Though there are people that are a part of the fellowship that you may not have anything in common with, the call is to love them because we are a family. Though there are those in the community of faith that have a checkered past, or different upbringing than you, the call is to keep the unity of peace and love them. Though they may look different than you, the call is to love them well and for each party to walk in unity with one another.
The question for you this morning is this: Are there children of God whom I know that I am struggling to keep the peace with? If so, examine your heart. The problem may not be with them, but with you. The good news is that forgiveness is available by choosing to repent (turn around) and ask the Lord to help you continue to grow. Remember what Jesus Himself said in John 13:35: “ By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Can’t we all get along? Those of us who are in Christ can, so let us strive to walk in unity with one another today, being bright lights to a world full of hatred.
Prayer for Today: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for loving me! Help me to love my fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord with the same love. I repent for the times I chose not to love them. Help me to continue to grow in walking in unity with believers. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
There is none like you, O Lord ; you are great, and your name is great in might.