Sunday, August 5, 2018

Our End Is Our Beginning: Reflections on Ephesians 4.1-16 (RCL Proper 18B, 5 August 2018)

Our End Is Our Beginning
Reflection on Ephesians 4.1-16

RCL Proper 18B
5 August 2018 

Holy Trinity Cathedral
New Westminster BC

Ephesians 4.1-16

            4.1I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  4There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.

            7But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift.  8Therefore it is said, “When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive; he gave gifts to his people.”

            9(When it says, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth?  10He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.)  11The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.  14We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming.  15But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.

Dear Friends,

I am sorry that I cannot share my textual foundation for today's sermon.  My original notes began with 

i)  Christian unity is both a present reality and a future hope.

ii)  Diversity is a necessary for true unity.

iii)  Unity in diversity leads us to grow into the likeness of God.

But, when I arrived at Holy Trinity Cathedral this morning for the 8.00 eucharist, I realized that I needed to reverse the flow:

a)  Our end, our telos, is to become more God-like in our choices to be life-giving, creating and loving agents of God.

b)  To grow into the likeness of God we need to work for the unity of all human beings and for the unity of the Christian community.

c)  Our unity requires diversity rather than uniformity.

So, you click on the link below and tell me, if you wish, whether I proclaimed the good news or simply shared my struggle and confusion with the people of Holy Trinity Cathedral.

Blessings to you all,

Richard +

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