Tuesday, August 08, 2006

First Pass at This Weekend's Bible Lesson: Ephesians 4:25-5:2

[Each week, I present as many updates on my reflections and study of the Biblical texts on which our weekend worship celebrations will be built as I can. The purpose is to help the people of the congregation I serve as pastor, Friendship Lutheran Church of Amelia, Ohio, get ready for worship. Hopefully, it's helpful to others as well, since most weekends, our Bible lesson is one from the weekly lectionary, variations of which are used in most of the churches of the world.]

This week, for our first pass at the lesson, just a few quick items.

The Lesson: Ephesians 4:25-5:2
So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil. Thieves 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. Let 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. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Here's an article that gives a great overview of the passage and its themes. It's one of those things I read and think to myself, "I couldn't possibly put it any better than that!"

Finally, here's the memory verse for this week's lesson, the portion that I'm asking all members of Friendship to recite with me during worship...and to remember beyond this weekend:
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us.” (Ephesians 5:1-2a)
More on this lesson as the week unfolds.

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