Have you ever been so excited to share something wonderful that you cannot seem to get the message out fast enough and it was only needing to take a breath that stopped your sentence. There was no time or place for punctuation. That was the image this text placed on my mind as I read it. In today’s text there was an intense celebration about how much God loves God’s people. Who are God’s people? Everyone! We are both blessed and a blessing when we also love those around us. Our salvation is not only for us but, for the world around us. We are loved and blessed for a purpose. How do we manifest that purpose in our spiritual journey?
- So daunting are these lines of text that even German biblical scholars, notorious for their own convoluted long-windedness, dare to call Ephesians 1:3-14 the most garish grammatical goulash to be found in Greek!
- Sacrificed his life for our sins????? The sin of power and control has ended the life of many a messenger.
- Blood atonement means nothing to me. I have never sacrificed an innocent animal to appease an angry god because I missed the mark (Sinned).
- His praise of God’s love for humanity seems to contradict the Blood Atonement as I understand it.
- This writer is not as concerned with how salvation has come to be. but rather,
- From whom it has been given (God) and to whom (all humanity) and to what end it is being offered.
- There is much I disagree with Paul on, however I am in total agreement with his teaching on how much God loves us.
- The text manages to emphasize God's unique love and concern for us.
- Indeed, the author begins this prayer on the note of excessive blessing. God has "blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places"
- The "heavenly places" referred to here are part of a timeless, eternal realm where all the spiritual blessings occur. Other scholars have stressed this "place" was "not defined by geographical limits but determined by the exertion of power," a power that "exerts its influence on life, history and conduct on earth.”
- The Christian experience of unity encompassed all people, all communities.
- What does it mean to be a blessing and to be blessed?
- We are chosen, for a reason a purpose
Call to Celebration
God, you have made it known that we are precious in your sight. Love is not abstract or absent of your presence. As we offer our gifts in this sacred space, may we be reminded that the Eternal One surrounds us in all things. Amen
Full Service Service July 11
Ephesians 1:3-14 NIV
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he[a] predestined us for adoption to sonship[b] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he[c] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
11 In him we were also chosen,[d] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.