15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,
16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
18And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit,
19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart,
20 always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.
This week we continue our series on the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians. As I have mentioned in the past few weeks, this letter contains some great information on the Church, how we should act toward others, and how we are to be holy.
Last week were heard St. Paul exhorting the church to be holy. Today, we heard some more admonitions about living our lives in holiness.
St. Paul wrote, “Look carefully then how you walk,:” meaning how you live your life, “not as unwise men, but as wise.”
A oracle once said, “It’s one thing to know the path. It’s another thing to walk the path.”
St. Paul wants us to be smart about our lives, and make the most of the time we have. Instead of wasting our time doing foolish things, saying foolish things, and getting drunk, we should instead be filled with the Spirit for the mission of His Church.
To be filled with this Spirit means to let the Spirit of Christ direct and rule our hearts. St. Paul gives us a little taste of what our liturgy should be; “addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all our hearts.
Always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father. The Greek word for thanksgiving is Eucharist. “
Our Holy Eucharist is the centerpiece of our Sunday Worship. Not only does it mean thanksgiving, but it is the name we give to our Holy Communion, where feast on the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Gospel reading today comes from the sixth chapter of the Gospel according to St. John, where Jesus it teaching the disciples about the Bread of Life.
In verse 33, Jesus says, “For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.” The disciple respond, “Lord give us this bread always!”
This is the best request they have made yet, for Jesus then tells them the most important answer. It’s not the answer they expected though. They were probably thinking they wouldn’t have to bake their own bread anymore. It would be delivered at their doorsteps!
Jesus says, “I AM the bread of life. He who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall not thirst.”
These are the words of life to those of us who believe. To the Jews of his day, Jesus’ words were a huge challenge. They had very strict laws about what they could or could not eat, and Jesus is offering them his flesh and blood.
Jesus said, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
Many disciples could not listen to this teaching from Jesus. To them it amounted to cannibalism. It was too hard to swallow! They took his words literally. He knew that the disciples who were not truly dedicated to him would fall away.
To those who chose to stay, Jesus gave an explanation. He said, “It is the Spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail (or it don’t help us). The words that I have spoken to you are Spirit and Life.”
This is how we receive Jesus into our hearts, our minds, and our souls. We call it Holy Communion because it is how we become one with Jesus.
Jesus said those who eat his flesh and drink his blood abide in him, and he in us. This means we live together, and we walk together, and we work together. Jesus is our constant companion, and he wants to be involved in our lives. He wants us to be involved in his work, too.
That work is evangelism, or spreading the Good News. We are fellow workers in this vineyard, and we are his hands and feet in this work.
That work is also missional, as it means helping the poor and the needy, those who are hungry, and thirsty. I owe my life to Jesus, because he saved me for this very task, to tell you about his love for us, and to serve others in ways that I don’t even know yet.
He has work for you, too, which he will show you at just the right time. This may come at a time you least expect it, but it may well be arranged by our Father at just the right time. I urge you to ready, and the opportunity presents itself, say what the Lord Jesus would have you say. Don’t worry about what you are going to say He will give you the words.
This is how we walk the path, loving God our Father with our heats, our minds and our souls, and caring for everybody else as we care for ourselves. The is our Father’s work for us. Lord help us to be what you need in this world. Amen.