Friday 26 October 2012

Bible Book:

"Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time…" (vv. 15-16a)

Ephesians 5:15-33 Friday 26 October 2012


Being careful about how to live is an instruction which followsfrom what has been written a little earlier in this letter. The writerinstructs readers to live as "children of the light" (Ephesians 5:8), and this must, of course, haveimplications as to how to behave. Some Bibles express verse 15 as"Look carefully then how you walk" (Revised Standard Version). Thathas quite a nice touch for those who are called to follow Jesus,and even to imitate God.

Firstly, make "the most of the time". There is a lovelysentiment in Rudyard Kipling's poem "If", which states: "If you can fill theunforgiving minute with sixty seconds' worth of distance run, yoursis the earth and everything that's in it …". How important it is touse one of the greatest gifts, namely the time which is given tospend on God's earth.

"Do not be foolish" (v. 17). That includes not getting drunk,but instead being filled up with God's Spirit. And that leads intoinstructions as to how to worship. Psalms, hymns and spiritualsongs are part of the mix. That is lively worship, involving all ofthe congregation. This is a bit of information about what happenedin Christian worship at that time, and people with a specialinterest in hymns and worship pay special attention to it.

Some Christians find real difficulty with the advice aboutbehaviour between wives and husbands (verses 22-33). It isimportant to acknowledge the cultural setting, and that Christiansdisagree about the interpretation of this passage, althoughmarriage services sometimes still contain promises of obedience bya wife towards her husband.

However, love and respect are also integral to this passage, andit stems from the love which Jesus showed towards the Church.

To Ponder

  • In what ways do you think you could make better use of yourtime?
  • How do you think the advice for wives and husbands should beunderstood today?
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