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Ephesians Online—Chapter 4 Comments

  • Posted on Feb 17, 2010

Ephesians Online–Chapter Four Comments and Chapter Five Homework

Hi all! Sorry for the slight delay….we have received historic amounts of snow in Baltimore–about 60 inches in the past three weeks or so. We are all just now plowing out and getting back to our routines and schedules. And now…it’s Ash Wednesday and Lent already. As we move into Chapter 4, we are moving from the theme of the first three chapters–“WHY” we follow Christ–to the second three chapters–“HOW” we follow Christ. As a discussion topic, I wondered if some of you had seen the movies Avatar and District 9 to think about how we are as Christians in the world. Two of you had comments that I’ll share:

Margie from South Africa said about Avatar: “Lots of Violence! It reminded me of Bush sending his troops into Iraq, destroying the regime. As a Christian, I found it violent but it certainly showed how those with power can become greedy…From the side of the indigenous folk, they were fighting to survive an evil force. We need to be like Jesus in this world and not go with the flow of evil around us.”

Mary Jo from Baltimore/Columbia wrote about Avatar: “It seemed to me that the indigenous people were closer to the oneness of their belief system than the invaders. I thought it was wonderful cinematography as well as propaganda. I don’t often consciously think of things in a Christian context. To be honest I don’t often consciously think of my actions in “Christian” terms. I do look at whether or not something reflects my values and do my actions reflect those same values.”

Mary Jo went on to say: “Human nature would make me think that it was as equally difficult to live as Paul suggests at the time he wrote the letter as it is today. The challenge is to understand and/or believe in a “just war” or to beleive in no war. Is God on one side or the other…since it seems that everyone calls to the Creator for help to destroy their enemy? My mother often said that God must weep for what we do in His name.”

Mary Jo also recalled a trip that she and Gert took to Jerusalem and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher: “The church is divided into different sections because the Roman Catholic and Eastern orthodox both lay claim to the Church. they have come to blows over who has the right to light the Easter vigil candles among other issues. For centuries the secular government has often intervened in their disputes. What an example of Christian love! In ordinary daily life we are confronted by such simple/complex issues as how to resolve differences between friends or who was first in line…and with the recent storm, who has the right to the shoveled parking spaces! For some, the answers to these issues are: to be civil, show respect, and consider others. Is this a modern interpretation of Ephesians 4:32 “be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ?”

All good comments. What do others of you think? E-mail me at mmacgill[email protected] if you can’t get the comment piece of the blog to work for you. Lucy in South Africa: what do you think? Alice in Baltimore?

Homework for Chapter 5: What does it mean to be a Christian everyday? Let’s continue the discussion we began above. What is the hardest thing to do as a Christian in everyday life? Paul talks about abandoning anger as the sun sets….is this possible in every situation? According to William Barclay, Paul ends Chapter 4 with a list of things which must be banished from life. One of those things is bitterness orpikria. According to Barclay, the Greeks defined this word as long-standing resentment–“the spirit which refuses to be reconciled.” (p. 183 Barclay, The Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians) What do we do about long-standing resentments? How do we follow Christ into a place of justice and reconciliation?

Let me know. Looking forward to what you have to say.