In this series of texts from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, there are concrete actions that Paul suggests, and they all have their foundation in the love of God.

In the first week, Paul stresses the need for unity—not that all will be the same, but that all people have different gifts that complement each other and can be used in building up the entire body in love.
 
In the second week, we are called to a very difficult task: “Be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us” (Eph. 5:1-2, NRSV). What does it mean to imitate God? Earlier in this passage, Paul gives a helpful list of actions to consider.
 
Week three encourages a return of love from the people to God by giving thanks and being filled with the Spirit.
 
Lastly, the well-known passage related to the “whole armor of God” (Eph. 6:11, NRSV) even has its groundings in love. Notice all the parts of the armor are not intended for violence, but living out the love of God—in truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, and the Spirit. We tend to focus upon the warlike images in this last passage, but the things they represent obviously point toward the love of God. In addition, the image of “standing” doesn’t necessarily mean “standing still.” This is an act of preparation, of getting up and getting ready. To do what? Well, that is in the hands of the church.

 

Week 1: August 5              Build Each Other Up...in Love
Ephesians 4:1-16

Week 2: August 12            Live...in Love
Ephesians 4:25-5:2

Week 3: August 19            Give Thanks...in Love
Ephesians 5:15-20

Week 4: August 26            Move...in Love
Ephesians 6:10-20