There is a popular army slogan, “Be all you can be.” For more than twenty years, this slogan was used to recruit the finest men and women to join the United States Army. It strikes a chord in your heart that creates the desire to prove yourself to others, not just in your strength but by your attitude as well. The United States Army is known throughout the world for bravery and skill. But I’m not recruiting your to join the US Army.
In Saint Paul’s letter to Ephesians (4.1-7) today, we hear a similar challenge. “Walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.” (Ephesians 4.1) As Greek Orthodox Christians we are called to live a certain lifestyle of prayer, fasting, taking care of the poor, supporting the work of the Church. Saint Paul teaches us to walk “with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4.2) It is our way of life that leads to “unity in the Spirit in the bond of peace,” (Ephesians 4.3)
If we are willing to accept the wisdom of Saint Paul, we can see that prayer leads to gentleness and peace. Fasting leads to longsuffering also known as patience, and our willingness to help the poor is our expression of love. However, it is our living in unity with the Spirit that ultimately leads to life with God.
Our Lord taught, “Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” (Matthew 25.40) When we are able to live according to Saint Paul’s advice by living worthy of our calling, we can’t help but understand that we live united to each other as human beings. This can only be realized through the grace of God which “was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” (Ephesians 4.7)
If we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that most days we fall short of being worthy of our calling. We more often than not choose to live without enough prayer and rarely with enough patience for the shortcomings of others. We rarely live as if we are united to each other, let alone the Holy Spirit, but thankfully God has given us another chance to be all we should be. He has called us to BE Orthodox!