Environmental Stewardship Commission (MEESC)

Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota

Lectionary Reflection Year B, Proper 15 New Testament Reading

Ephesians 5:15-20

Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Reflection on Ephesians 5:15-20 by John G. Gibbs, PhD

Here is a euphoric pep talk for those who could have been as foolish, unwise, and “drunk with wine” as the days around them that “are evil.” But the euphoria comes to those who take care how they live, who are wise enough to “make the most of the time,” who “understand what the will of the Lord is” (understand in what direction God’s purposes move), who are “filled with the Spirit” (capital “S”), whose singing and harmonizing with others is internalized.

I use the word “euphoria” because, being “filled with the Spirit,” they “bore up well” in all situations and knew “the lightness of being.” [eu + phorein = bear well.] The psalms and hymns and spiritual songs that they sang filled them with harmonious vibrations wherever they were: “among yourselves,” “in your hearts,” “at all times.”

Such people, having awakened from sleep to behold Christ shining upon them (5:14), “give thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything.” Not taking nor exploiting resources that future generations will need, but thanking God for everything, is what it means to be Spirit-filled (capital “S”). Have we come full circle, then, from the Spirit who moved over the deep at the Creation, and who now moves through us to sustain God’s People and everything around them?

Copyright Statement

To Reflections on other Readings for this Sunday:
Old Testament Proverbs 9:1-6
not available
Psalm 147 or 34:9-14
New Testament Ephesians 5:15-20
this page
Gospel John 6:53-59

John Gibbs, PhD, a retired theologan, attends Trinity Episcopal Church, Park Rapids, MN. He originally wrote this reflection in 2003. He and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to John Gibbs or any MEESC member, or mail them to:
MEESC Holy Trinity Church Box 65 Elk River, MN 55330-0065 USA

The MEESC assumes that all correspondence received is for publication on this web site. If your comments are not for publication, please so note on your correspondence. The MEESC reserves the right to decide which items are included on the website.


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