Word For The Day By Christian Education Forum

Oneness: Gift and Goal

Ephesians 4:1-6

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Verses 4-6)

Ephesians presumes that conversion leads to moral renewal. The exhortation to lead a life worthy of your calling echoes Jewish understanding of divine election. Some interpreters treat vv. 4-6 as an independent liturgical fragment. The passage introduces a list of “one” expressions, which ends with the one God who governs and fills the entire cosmos.

God in Christ – the foundation of unity: The verse six has to be read to begin with. Oneness according to the Bible is not homogeneity, rather it fraternity in God. God is the source, sustainer and sanctifier of the unity. The passage has to be read in the continuity with the previous one. Here the oneness is the oneness within the body of Christ. It is the collegiality in Christ. This collegiality is gift of God in Christ. When we remember the prayer of Jesus in St. John 17, it is elucidative. God in Christ has united all, there is no more binaries, no more gradations. Whatever gradations occur in social life is challenged by the new social body, the body of Christ.

Unity in Christ – the goal of the Church: But the Pauline letters always has a futuristic dimension. The oneness that has gifted by God in Jesus has to be realized in the historical situation by the church. It is a way of walking, way of living, and way of organizing. The goal is the unity that is the call of baptism. The goal is worked out in a new way of relationship. Relations not ego, idiosyncrasies or revenges. Rather forgiveness, humility, patience, caring one another in love is the will be the fabric of the relation.

So one can meditate that unity as gift and a goal. God in Christ has modeled it, we have to realize it. Realizing it in every walk of life.

Robert Fulghum, ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN, has written that “And it is still true, no matter how old you are-when you go out into the world , it is best to hold hands and stick together”.

Prayer: O Sovereign and almighty Lord, bless all your people, and all your flock. Give your peace, your help, your love to us your servants, the sheep of your fold, that we may be united in the bond of peace and love, one body and one spirit, in one hope of our calling, in your divine and boundless love. Amen (Liturgy of St. Mark)

Rev. Sam T. Koshy, MTT Seminary, Kottayam

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