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Click this link and you will hear famous 20th century poet W.H. Auden read his composition on the life of Deitrich Bonhoeffer. Is Friday a reference to Good Friday? Or to the nursery rhyme: “…Friday’s child is loving and giving…?”
[Pastorhh wonders…Perhaps it’s both?]
To quote one analysis of the work: The poem leaves us to ponder the grounds for our moral judgments if we choose not to be grounded in Bonhoeffer’s Christianity.
Paul’s claim upon the church in Ephesians 4:11-16 (according to Wm. Barclay) is that “the church is to reach for a stature which can be measured by the fullness of Christ. To produce people who have in them the reflection of Jesus Christ himself.” The questions that followed within our study group were, “Is this a sacrificial desire?” and “How much can we imagine personal sacrifice for the sake of unity?
The topic of unity became a social conversation about the current tensions between law enforcement, government, and the public outcry for equal rights. Understandings of sacrifice moved from material sacrifices to sacrifices of personal bias and longstanding assumptions about what is acceptable in societal relationships.
Do you have assumptions about others you would be willing to sacrifice to mitigate these current social tensions for the sake of Christian unity? Would this be a reflection of Christ himself?
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul writes from a Roman prison but in chapter 3 he speaks of himself as a prisoner of Christ. Paul considers himself a dual prisoner; actually living as a prisoner of Rome but faithfully living a life of love as a prisoner of Christ. William Barclay, a Biblical commentator, refers to Paul as having a “double address,” one in a Roman prison and one in Christ.
We may also live with double addresses. Living in the throes of our lives, enduring and enjoying the society around us, but at the same time we have our address in Christ. At this address we may become the love and grace as given by Christ while living at a worldly address that fails to know the love and grace of Christ. Two simultaneous address for all of us to live in or at. I invite you to think about how living at that gracious address in Christ may influence the earthly address we occupy.
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There is a good bit of winter left, and still little hands that need warmth. This month, let’s fill the Elementary building’s mitten tree for Nurse Kay and our friends at school. Bring your offering to worship any Sunday in February. [Sunday school students: you are awesome!]