1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
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 predestined us for adoption to sonship 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 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 fulfilment – to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
11 In him we were also chosen, 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.
This week's Questions for Reflection are:
- How might your reading of Ephesians 1 differ if you read it with eyes to see:
- the blessings you receive?
- the blessings we (united) receive?
- the glory it brings to God the Father?
- Will we live out the apostolic vision for the one body and bear witness to Christ’s victory over the power and principalities (that carve up humanity)?
- How can our local Christian community bear witness to a different way of being human?
- What does a life look like that is characterised by self-giving love, by justice, by honesty and by the breaking down of barriers that reinforce the divisions which keep humans separate from (and often at odds with) one another?
- Are you ready and willing to have the ‘eyes of your heart’ for the church enlightened by God’s hope and power? Eph 1:18-23