Walk in love (10-05-21)
Bible Reading: Ephesians 5:1-4,15-20
Follow God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
Be very careful, then, how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I am not a big fan of soaps. Soap, yes; soaps, no! When our children were little we planned our evening meal for around 5.35, just as children’s TV finished and as ‘Neighbours’ started. The reason was that we were unhappy with the themes that were portrayed in the soap, with the normalisation of disrespectful, deceptive and unloving attitudes. The children would learn these attitudes quick enough elsewhere; there was no need for them to learn them in the home as well.
Thirty-five years later I was interested to discover that our daughter has vetoed her four-year-old and her two-year-old from watching videos of the modern children’s classic, Peppa Pig. Not because there is anything particularly wrong with the stories themselves, there isn’t, the books are fine. It's the sassy attitude and foot-stamping of the main character in the videos that's the problem.
Writing to the Christians in Ephesus, Paul encourages them to walk in the way of love and to make wise choices in the way they live and behave. The reason he gives for this is that they are God’s holy people; holy in the sense of set apart for God, not in the sense of being ‘holier than thou’.
And being set apart for God doesn’t mean being set apart from the world, indeed it means the opposite. As Christians we called by God to engage with the world in which we live and to influence it for good and for God.
Choosing how we live our lives and the things that we allow to influence us, both in our homes and outside, are important. In all of this we need to be discerning, open to the things that shine a light on the world in which we live, but aware of the things that try to influence us in directions that are contrary to God's will.
Paul’s answer to this is to walk in the way of love and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Together they will lead us and guide us in the way we live our lives, ‘not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity.’
May the love grace of Christ and the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit lead me and guide me in all I think, say and do today.
May the mind of Christ my Saviour, live in me from day to day.