Opening Prayer: 

"Heavenly Father, as I come ready to connect with You again, teach me what it means to be connected to those all around me. Amen."

Song for Reflection: Amazing Grace (my chains are gone)

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:35-32

Reflection:

Membership in the one body constrains our action. It changes how we respond to one another. Yes, we will get frustrated at others and want to run away. BUT because we are members of one body, "you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor." Speak the truth - whether that's a word of challenge or offering a word of encouragement and edification to build up the person next to you!

Sometimes when we hear the truth, especially challenging truth, we will get angry and defensive. That's natural, but it need not control us. It's what we do with our anger that counts. "In your anger do not sin." Rather, as members of one body, we are to forgive, to reflect, to be measured in our words, to love. 

Membership in the body constrains us, it changes us, and it is sometimes painful - but it's for the good! It creates maturity of character. That's where the Spirit of God is inviting us to move, into the hard work of loving each other well in our every day relationships. Not retreating or attacking, but speaking the challenging and encouraging truth to one another in love. Let's keep in step with the Spirit, so we as one body, can stay in good shape!

Reflection Questions:

God’s great passion is to bring things together again through Jesus. Today, in what key relationships are you experiencing a disconnect?

What does this Scripture tell us about how God brings peace and reconciliation to relationships?

Today, how might God be inviting you to reconnect with others?

Closing Prayer:

"God, thank you for showing me grace through your people. Fill me with that same grace for those all around me. In Jesus' name, Amen." 

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