Wake up sleeper!
Shake up and wake up – Ephesians 5:14
In the first 18 verses of Ephesians 5 Paul issues a major wake up call. This passage is particularly apt following the publication last week of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) which found that religious organisations including all Christian denominations and independent churches are places where children have been abused and children remain at risk. This is despite now decades of revelations of incidents and the introduction of safeguarding practices and policies. Many in Christian churches still take a casual approach in their own church with frequently heard comments about it not being possible to happen here, it is political correctness gone mad, complaints about overbearing administration and people feeling offended that they are being included in safeguarding processes. Paul was not writing specifically about child abuse but he was addressing the reality and seriousness of sin within the church including, ‘sexual immorality and any kind of impurity.’ v3 His opening position is that we should be walking, ‘in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.’ v2 All our behaviour, heart positions, church practices and policies should stem from a sacrificial love for Christ, returning to him the love he first had for us. This is then worked out in how we behave with and towards others. It is time for honest self-examination under the penetrating light of the Lord. ‘But everything exposed by the light becomes visible.’ v13