This week's message was essentially "Church Unity, pt 2." Coming on the heels of the previous week's deep-dive into Ephesians 4:1-2, we picked up right where we left off and spent time looking at some of the nuances contained within the Biblical command to be united. Here are a few prompts for ongoing meditation, discussion, and action...
Continue considering the nuanced difference between unity and conformity. How would you describe or explain how the two are different? What are some specific examples you have experienced within a local church, or what are some potential examples you can come up with?
In Ephesians 4:3-6, Paul seems to be really emphasizing our unity with other believers as part of our "family resemblance" as members of God's family. In other words, because of the oneness of God, the oneness believers are called to is a reflection of who God is. That can be an incredibly intimidating realization. To what extent have you considered your personal conduct and participation in a local church to be a reflection of the person of God - to be an important part of your witness to the world of who God is? If you take an honest look at yourself, what message are you potentially communicating to the world about God? In what way do you feel like you can improve? In what way do you feel like you are doing well?
Matthew 5:9 shows us that being a peacemaker is a significant family resemblance attribute. Are you more inclined to be peaceful (passive) or a peacemaker (active)? Brainstorm specific ways humility, gentleness, patience, and bearing together can all contribute to peacemaking (different situations may call for different practices).
How might God be currently calling you to be a peacemaker? What would help you practice peacemaking, or growing in any of the four actions from last week?