Boy, we have another great passage from one of Paul's letters as our reading today. Come to think of it, they all are great passages.
For today, let's focus on the first part of the reading. In verse 1 Paul urges all of us to live a life worthy of God's calling. With God's help we are His representatives on earth. As His representatives, as outlined in verse 2, we are to be humble, gentle, patient, understanding, and peaceful. People watch the way we live our lives. When they watch can they see Christ in you? Can they see Christ in me? Do we demonstrate the characteristics of a representative of Christ? Do others see in us a life that they want to lead? This is an awesome responsibility but one we should undertake with our whole heart.
Paul goes on to say, "there is one body". Of course Paul is talking about unity among Christians. Unity does not just happen, we have to work at it. Differences among people can lead to division, but this should not happen in the church. Instead of focusing on our differences, we should focus on what unites us - one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God. This is extremely hard to do, but we are called to learn to appreciate people who are different. We are called to see their different gifts, talents, and abilities, and encourage them to use their attributes to strengthen God's church. It is very easy to hang out with people who are like you. If we learn to appreciate people who are different, we will find hanging out with them is rewarding too, and as we all know, it is difficult to encourage someone you don't hang out with.