Daily Devotional – Tuesday Jan. 16, 2007
Lord, bless me with understanding and clarity. Open me to your message and love.
Paul does not beat around the bush. He has something to say and he says it directly and to the point. In today’s letter to the Gentile Ephesians Church, he challenges them to look into the mirror and to critically asses what they see. To take stock of their life style, their relationship with God and each other. He also tells them what he thinks of them and it isn’t very nice. Is this how you talk to a friend? In Paul’s case it is. After all, Paul loves them as he loves God and they are his neighbor in Christ.
This passage caused me to recall a time in my life at the beginning of my career when job promotion, increased responsibilities at work and in my church had me thinking that I was pretty good. I was feeding off the recognition and feeling pretty good about myself, so much so that it probably influenced my behavior. I was involved in the youth ministry of our church and was directing the choir. At that time God blessed me with the friendship of the Assistant Minister Murray Henderson. We were on a youth retreat and spent a lot of time together. He did to me what Paul does to the Ephesians in today’s reading. He questioned my commitment and motivation. He questioned my relationship with God and Jesus. Murray had become active in Anglican Church renewal and as his friend, he felt that he was doing the right thing for me. I did not see it that way at the time and I questioned why he would do that. Now I know. He did it because he loved me and because I loved him. Only I didn’t know I loved him at the time. I am still learning to love people.
Sadly I have lost contact with him and I have recently started a search to find him. In each of our lives, there is a short list of people that God places in our path to change our direction – for the good. Murray was one of these. I need to find him and tell him. I know I will find him because God wants me to. Murray will one day read this memory of him and smile.
John Dickie, Jan.16, 2007