Many Christian organizations and churches have undertaken defining their vision as a priority in order to reach success. Often, this task is done with great difficulty because of the existing differences amongst the people concerned. The perspective of what it means to be united in vision according to Paul, in chapter 4 of his Epistle to the Ephesians, draws out from his plea that we may live a life worthy of the calling we have received in Christ Jesus (v.1) and is framed in three fundamental aspects. First (v.1-2), our vision must aim to our heart, to the way we ought to be. Paul urges us to care for our character in relation to our fellowship as a body: humility, gentleness, patience and forbearing. Second (v. 7-16), our vision must aim to our hands, to the way we ought to do. Paul, specifically, exhorts us to use the gifts that have been given to us. The call in Christ leads to action in service and for the building up of the body to attain the whole measure of the fullness of Christ (v.13). Third (v.17-29), our vision must aim to our mind, to the way we ought to think. Paul insists that we must live the teachings that we have received; the fruit is seen in a renewed mind and also in a new self that reflects in a transformed behaviour. According to the designs of the world, Paul’s life could be seen as a failure, since he is in prison at the time of writing, and, consequently, his petitions are useless. We could say the same of our lives and churches. Nevertheless, the promise is that, if we live as a body in unity of vision, caring mutually for our hearts, hands and minds “we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ (v.15)”, “a perfect humanity” (v.13). There is no greater success. There is no greater reward.
- We appreciate your promise that if we live with a vision of unity and growth as a church, there will be a wonderful reward.
- We are lacking in vision, Lord. We need you by our side, always.
- We ask your forgiveness, beloved Father, for the times we do not see as you see, we do not love as you love, nor do we feel as you feel.
- Help us to improve our heart and take care of our character in relation to our coexistence as a church. Give us more humility, patience and tolerance.
- Help us improve our way of seeing our gifts to serve you better.
- Help us to think as you think, so that this leads us to a proper vision of you, of your kingdom, of ourselves, of humanity and of our mission in this world.