21 May 2013

Ephesians 5:15-20

“Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (vv. 19-20)


Were some of the new Christians inEphesusheavy drinkers - alive with the wrong sort of spirit? In every community there are those who want to escape into a quick fix or an ecstatic state. The writer to the Christians at Ephesus urged them to enjoy the wholesome and elevating thrill of Spirit-led lives and Spirit-filled praise. Their voices were to be raised in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs that were focused on God.

To Ponder

  • From the beginning one Christian experience of effervescent joy has come from the songs and melodies of the Church. How do you express your joy?
  • First there was the chanting of Hebrew psalms, later the haunting lilt of plainsong melodies, then the hymn tunes of the Reformation and the Evangelical Revival and then the chants of Taize and exuberance of charismatic and pentecostal praise. What hymns or songs best express for you, your praise and worship of God?
  • St Augustine urged his hearers to make sure the tune of their lifestyle matched the tune on their lips! How well do you do this?

Bible notes author

The Revd Prebendary Norman Wallwork

Norman Wallwork is a supernumerary Methodist minister and a retail chaplain in central Exeter. He is also a prebendary or canon of Wells Cathedral.