April 30, 2021
The rubric to succeeding sections of the Ephesian’s letter, if you will permit me to identify it as such, is central to each believer’s spiritual diet: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21). Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase The Message provides a meal in these words: “Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another.”
The theme of mutual submission (“submit to one another”) dominates Eugene Peterson’s interpretation. His insistence emphasizes relationships which are centered not in feelings or political positions. Rather, our treatment of one another centers in our convictions about Christ.
The apostolic instruction for disciples living in turbulent times is soul food in today’s Scripture resource passage. Ephesians 5:21 presents the theme; God assigns particular responsibilities to different groups of disciples. If you think of Ephesians 5:21 as a rubric (a printing term describing the first letter of a word with an enlarged decorative appearance), this section of Paul’s letter is a gourmet’s sustenance, for the disciple’s soul.
Given the current state of affairs in your family, your congregation, your county, your state, your nation what does it mean for you to “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ?” Or,answer the discipleship question as Eugene Peterson encouraged, “Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another.”
Thank you for reading. I look forward to seeing your suggestions and comments.