25 So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. 26 Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
Reading Paul’s letter to the Ephesians struck a particular chord with me. One of Paul’s themes is that of unity; that all Christians are one family in Jesus and they should act with love towards each other. Yet here we are; families, a people, a community and a country divided. Many speak and carry signs and banners that espouse and profess a life guided by Christ yet which are used to display hatred for persons of different religious beliefs, racial backgrounds, ethnic origins, social status and political affiliations. Civility and understanding are in short supply.
Paul says “That is not the way you learned from Christ!” (Ephesians 4:20). We are told to put away our former lives and to be renewed in the spirit. In this season of Lent, when giving up something is encouraged, let us give up our hate and misunderstandings and follow the teachings of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Let us unite with our brothers and sisters to be one body in Christ and work for peace in our lives and in our world.
Precious Lord and maker of all things good, you provide guidance to us for living our lives as Christ teaches us. Help us to put away our hateful ways and to pursue lives that follow in your light. Let us awake with a renewed purpose in the Spirit. We pray for your love and mercy in all that we do. We ask this in Christ’s name, Amen.