Daily Readings/ Editorial
Scriptures to be read before the sermon on Sunday, May 28:
Monday: Ephesians 5:21-33
Tuesday: Ephesians 6:1-9
Wednesday: Ephesians 6:10-24
Friday: Ephesians 6:1-9
Saturday: Ephesians 6:10-24
“The Body Of Christ”
In the book of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul has quite a bit to say about being the body of Christ, that is, the group of people who worship and serve together as His church. Paul addressed one of the most important aspects of body life when he wrote in 4:29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs.” Most of the time, that is our experience as Christians gather to share in worship, fellowship and acts of service. Occasionally, however, problems arise. More often than not, it is because someone has said or done something that has hurt someone else in some way. It is then that the true test of body life is seen. Will those involved follow Paul’s admonition to “bear with one another in love”? (4:2)
The following story is shared as something to help us think about how to bear with one another in love as the body of Christ. An African tribe has a ritual that occurs when a tribe member acts irresponsibly or unjustly. He or she is taken to the center of the village. All work ceases and every man, woman and child in the village gathers in a large circle around the accused. Then the tribe bombards the rejected person with affirmations! One at a time, friends and family enumerate all the good the individual has done. Every incident, every experience that can be recalled with some detail and accuracy is recounted. All their positive attributes, strengths and kindnesses are recited carefully and at length. Finally, the tribal circle is broken, a joyous celebration takes place, and the outcast is welcomed back into the tribe. What a beautiful ritual of restoration! They replace hurt with happiness; pain with peace. Once again they are family. The rejected one is restored and the village is made whole.
No, we don’t have such ceremony at our church! But, the concept of seeing the positive instead of the negative and then encouraging each other—even one who may have offended us—is both very biblical and very Christ-like.