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Reform Magazine | June 13, 2024

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Chapter & verse: Ephesians 4: 1-16 - Reform Magazine

Chapter & verse: Ephesians 4: 1-16

Victoria Turner reflects on peace

The Epistle to the Ephesians is attributed to Paul when he was in prison, and this letter thinks carefully about how we should live as a new humanity unified in God – quite a relevant agenda for today.

There is one particular phrase that has been at the forefront of my mind for months – this ‘bond of peace’. Are we bonded by peace? Are we bonded for peace? What is the bond? What is peace? And what I think I find the scariest is that people don’t think about this, or ask about this. Jeremy Corbyn recently got bashed by the press for saying we should invest in peace between Russia and Ukraine because he was being ‘utopian’ and not understanding the real conflict. Our society thinks peace is implausible.

And we have so many words to describe destruction don’t we – annihilation, extinction, elimination, massacring, eradicating, decimating… we can go on. But, as Annie Sharples so wonderfully explained in her beautiful chapter for Young, Woke and Christian, we don’t have this vocabulary for peace. Peace for many just means the absence of violence. It doesn’t have these connotations of fullness, love, grace, gentleness, oneness or bondedness as Paul draws out here…

Victoria Turner is a PhD student in Edinburgh and a Council for World Mission Scholar. This article was delivered as a sermon at the United Reformed Church jubilee service on 15 April

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This is an extract from an article published in the June 2023 edition of Reform

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