“But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, unto Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.” (Ephesians 4: 15-16)
Ephesians chapter 4 gives us Christians a vision as to the way Christian unity works. It speaks of the renewal of our minds and challenges us to no longer live in the futility of their minds (Gentiles.) Verse 25 says, “so then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. Be angry but do not sin, do not let the sun go down on your anger and do not make room for the devil.” Verse 29 continues: “Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need; so that your words may give grace to those who hear.”
I listen to podcasts as I’m driving, and one a few weeks ago really caught my attention. Poet Claudia Rankine was being interviewed by Krista Tippett. The issue was “How do I say this so we can stay in this car together?” Some conversations can put such a strain on relationships that we can lose our best friend, our daughter-in-law, and cause painful family and church splits. Sometimes we don’t realize what has happened until a few hours after the conversation. Car rides with teenagers are especially difficult. The gift of knowing “how to say this so we can stay in the car together,” is really useful. The skills are not particularly natural. As Ephesians points out. We need some fundamental skills and practice. We need to intentionally fight our evil impulses.
Our Spring Forums this year are an introduction to these skills. Rebecca Mays is the Educational Director of the Dialogue Institute at Temple University. She has been teaching the skills of dialogue to individuals, churches, and others. She will join us on May 15 and 22nd, 7:30 to 9 pm.
~~ Pastor Brenda
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