In my Bible, this week's reading from Ephesians bears the title, "Rules for the New Life." The text reads like a laundry list of more or less unrelated instructions. Put away falsehood. Speak the truth, be angry but don't sin, and do not make room for the devil. Give up stealing and work honestly. Speak only what is useful for building up; do not grieve the Holy Spirit. Put away bitterness, anger, slander, and malice.
A few years ago I lost a friend to cancer, barely 12 months after the diagnosis. During her final months she wrapped up business at her job and then went about saying goodbye to those people closest to her. She planned "final" experiences with friends and family—including a magnificent, all-expenses paid vacation with a few closest friends— and prepared herself spiritually by seeking out the rites and rituals of the church that would prepare her to finish her earthly life: renewal of baptism, Holy Communion, anointing.