I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it says,
“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
and he gave gifts to men.”
9 (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) Ephesians 4:1-10
How would you finish the sentence, “I wish…” If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably beyond the “I wish I could get a date for the prom” stage of life. Likely you’re not wishing for a pony for Christmas, or for a new XBox game console. I’m guessing your wishes are more along the lines of wishing your children would call you more often. You might wish for a million dollars or even a dream vacation.
I wish I had the same attitude as Paul displays in these verses. He’s a prisoner for the Lord who wishes to encourage people to live lives of love and faithfulness. He wishes that the people of Ephesus would display the reality of their oneness in Christ. He wishes for these people to maintain what is already there. And all the while he’s in prison.
I wish I had the kind of attitude and faith that looks beyond the daily challenges of difficult circumstances and stressful situations.
I do wish for this kind of unity within the body of Christ in which I serve here in Cypress. I yearn for people to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. I wish for God’s people to appreciate the various different gifts God bestows on the church by his grace. I wish for God’s people to appreciate the unity that we have in the one body, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all.
How I wish we could keep all that uppermost in our minds for in that unity is a witness to the rest of the world that Jesus is the Savior of the world. Think of that. If Jesus is the Savior of the world – and he is – isn’t that more important than any other petty wish we may have? Isn’t that worthy of shaping your wishes? Doesn’t that overshadow everything else we might wish for; even as we wish for certain gifts for Christmas, a visit from loved ones, or any other good wish we might hold?
Those are all good things. They help buoy our spirits. But when those wishes begin to fade and disappointment sets in, we can be thankful that the most important thing of all has been settled: we have the gift of God, and the gifts of God. I wish I could keep that attitude 24/7.