They call it the 27 Club. It is a collection of young musicians who died at 27. Amy Winehouse from Britain has just entered that list. Without a guiding light to steer by, these artists run aground and wreck on the rocks of sensual overindulgence and experimentation. They themselves become tragic heroes of their generation. They become myths that adorn posters. However, their lives are a warning and not a standard. The world without God offers nihilism and nihilism reduces to ash and dust. Nihilism is the belief that nothing matters and that nothing of value exists. It is often embraced by angst riddled teenagers. It kills performers at age 27, most famously: Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin and now Amy Winehouse.
Ephesians 4 contrasts a life of indulgence with a life of god-given purpose.
Ephesians 4: 17-32
17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”[d]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
- What did Paul warn Ephesians about their thinking and their actions?
- How did the senses figure over thoughtful living?
- What did Paul encourage the Ephesians to take on?
- Think of someone you know who gave up on God. What do they live for? How did their thinking change?
- Read an article about the 27 Club (e.g. http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/43866594/ns/today-entertainment/t/winehouse-just-latest-musician-die/). Pray for those who are younger than 27 who are becoming futile in their thinking.