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Showing posts from July 22, 2018

Surrounded By Prayer

Here are some thoughts on this Sunday's second reading. This was shared electronically with God's people at St. Timothy Lutheran Church
Ephesians 3:14-21 
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. 16 I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, 17 and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. 18 I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
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Broken Down and Built Up

This is the sermon I preached at St. Timothy Lutheran Church on Sunday, July 22. The text was Ephesians 2:11-22.

Don’t we all at one time or another wonder about who we are, what is our purpose in life and what we can do to make a difference? This passage in Ephesians speaks to the issue of identity. We have the identity of the Jews and Gentiles and who we are all together in Christ. With the terminology of strangers, aliens and citizens, this passage seems to especially have bearing on our lives today in the United States with the various challenges we face.
Paul wanted to make sure that the Ephesians remembered their former state. Twice he tells them to “remember,” first that they were Gentiles by birth and secondly, in metaphor-laden language, Paul describes them as being “without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel,…strangers…having no hope and without God in the world” (v. 12). They had been alienated from the Jewish people and their God. The Ephesians’ circumstanc…