The First 15

Tuesday September 28, 2021

by Sharon Reid

Today is Tuesday, September 28 and this week we are exploring the practice of connecting in life-giving and life-sharing relationships as the body of Christ.

Opening Prayer

As I enter into prayer, I pause to be still. I breathe slowly and recenter my scattered thoughts upon the presence of God.

Pause and Pray

Holy Spirit, come guide me into these moments of stillness. Help me use all my senses to be present with you and fully receive the goodness, beauty and truth you have to share with me today. Amen.

Scripture Reading

I choose to remember God’s good design for our lives to be lived in community, joining with the ancient praise of all God’s people in the words of Psalm 133.

How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!

It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore. Psalm 133: 1, 3

Pause and Pray

It is very likely that the Apostle Paul was being held in a Roman prison when he wrote these words to the early Christians about God’s calling on their lives.

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:1-6

Reflection

As I read these verses I naturally emphasize certain words. Did I emphasize one BODY, one SPIRIT, one LORD, one FAITH, one BAPTISM, one GOD? This is probably the most natural way I would read it. But what if Paul had a different emphasis in mind? What if Paul’s emphasis looked like this: ONE body, ONE spirit, ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism, ONE God.

Ask: How does emphasizing “ONE” change the way I receive this teaching?

Pause and Pray

Lord, help me examine my attitudes and thoughts about these good gifts Paul mentions in the passage. Guide me to a deeper understanding of the calling I have received and your message for me today as I slowly reread the words from Ephesians 4.

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:1-6

Ask: What image, word or phrase stood out to me this time as I read Paul’s words? How will it impact the way I will live out my calling today?

Pause and Pray

Lord, help me make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit within me and within my relationships as a bond of peace throughout this day. Empower me in my connections with others to be humble, gentle, patient and loving. Amen.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 1 John 1:7

Closing Prayer

Father, prepare me to live this day being true to you in every way. Jesus, help me reach out to others with kindness and in grace. Spirit, help me remember that we, who are many and diverse, are called to live in unity, through the bond of peace, as the body of Christ for the transformation of the world. Amen.

The First 15

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