Today, we share the next of several reflections that will prepare us for the upcoming Episcopal Youth Event, to be held July 10-14 at the University of Central Oklahoma. These reflections are connected to this year’s theme, “Path to Peace.”
This week’s reflection is by Victoria Hoppes, Diocesan Coordinator of Ministries With and For Youth.
READ: Ephesians 4:1-6 (NRSV)
PONDER: This passage from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of my favorite passages of Scripture. In it, Paul challenges us to use our individual gifts to work together to share the good news and to stay united together through the common bond of peace. This passage is a reminder that it takes a village to work for peace!
1.) Listen to the song “By Our Love” by for KING & COUNTRY. You can listen to the song here. What in this song sticks out to you? What challenges you? What draws you closer to God?
2.) Walking the path to peace can be difficult, especially if we are trying to do the walk alone. Peacemaking doesn’t just happen because of individuals. It also happens because of communities that work together to share the gospel. Individuals within the Body of Christ use their unique gifts to work together for peace. What communities are you a part of that work to promote peacemaking and reconciliation? What are some of the gifts that you bring to these communities as you work together for peace?
3.) One of the phrases that stands out to me in this passage from Ephesians is the phrase “bearing with one another in love.” Even in communities like the Church, communities that strive to promote peace and loving all, there is some conflict. It’s inevitable that we will face conflict because it is a part of our human experience. However, the ways in which we deal with conflict can teach ourselves (and others) about what it means to live in peace and unity. How do you handle conflict in the communities of which you are a part? How does reconciling these conflicts help you work toward a world full of peace?
PRAY: Holy God, you call us to work together for peace and unity. Help us walk the path to peace with others. Help us recognize how our unique gifts and talents share the good news of your love and peace. Help us to reconcile our own differences with others, so that we may promote your peace and unity in the church and the world. Amen.