We're so glad you decided to join us today!
When we meet in person, we take time to share our joys and concerns. Consider your last week, and any prayer requests you might have. If you feel comfortable, you can share them as a comment on this post. When you are ready, use the prayer below (source) to get started.
Heavenly Father and all-seeing God,
you sent your Son as a light to shine in our darkness.
Help us to listen to what Jesus is saying to us, and to act on your Word
so that rivers of living waters might flow from our hearts.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
This week's lesson will be on Ephesians 1:15-23.
As the point of contact between eastern and western trade routes of the Roman Empire, Ephesus was a leading city. It is estimated that there were more than 10,000 synagogues. Ephesus was also home of the Temple of Diana, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Diana was worshiped throughout “Asia and the world”.
Paul spent about 2 years in the city. The impact of his ministry disrupted the sale of silver Diana statues which disrupted the status quo of the city. On his last visit to Ephesus, he visited the elders and reminded them of his ministry, warned them about false teachers, and prayed with them before he left. Paul is writing to the elders from Rome where he is in prison. His letter to the Ephesians is one of encouragement, thanksgiving and prayer. Prayer for the present because of faith and love. Prayer of thanksgiving, prayer for growth, and praise of God’s power.
Even the best of times can be very challenging. Paul’s thanksgiving prayer in today’s lesson is a reminder that in Christ we have an eternal reality, already begun, that transforms our lives. We can experience the fullness of living because Jesus gives that fullness to his body, the church.
The call to action for this lesson is quite simple - but quite difficult: rest in the truth of what Paul has taught. We do nothing to create the reality that the Father has chosen to reveal himself in the Son and bring us to greater knowledge of him through the Spirit. All we can do is give thanks for this reality and constantly strive to live worthy of the calling. Our Lord is the Lord of the universe, and he gives us life to the fullest.
Thank you Father that you have chosen to show the fullness of your love through Jesus. We ask that your Spirit continue to enlighten and guide us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Thought to Remember
Nothing can stand against Christ our Lord.
Our benediction this week is from the King James Version.
Next week's lesson will be on Ephesians 2:1-10.
We are a small, rural Presbyterian church in southwestern Pennsylvania.