Church is a far, far too safe place to be! There are days when I think that we have abandoned the mission of the church and have settled for safety over adventure; have accepted silence over provocative witness; and have domesticated the Spirit rather than open ourselves to the wild, untamed Spirit that roared through the church on Pentecost. Perhaps we have forgotten that when it comes to church and Pentecost that we are playing with fire! Maybe we don’t really expect the Spirit to show up any more and are at risk of “playing church” rather than being church.
By contrast, chapter 4 of the epistle to the Ephesians challenges us to become an active part of God’s mission of extending the peace of Jesus Christ. While it is easy to succumb to the temptation to be passive consumers of “church”, Ephesians challenges us to embrace a model of church that goes far beyond individual consumerism. It begs us to live a life worthy of the mission of God in our world. What would it mean for us as individuals and churches if we really expected the Spirit to show up in our churches? What would it mean if we intentionally thought about aligning our lives and our congregations with the mission God is about in the world?
Scripture focus for this lesson is Ephesians 4:1-16