Ephesians 1:3-14 - Sunday Scripture Reflection
Updated: Jan 3
On this Second Sunday after Christmas we will read from the Letter to the Ephesians. We will explore the opening verses of the Letter to the Ephesians, which in the Greek language is actually one long sentence! The message of this long sentence is that we are all lovingly created beings from the loving and living God, who has created us for the praise of God and all creation. We will reflect on the idea of "praise of God" and try to distinguish between the various understandings of praise people might hold; and explore the ideas of a deeper type of praise that brings us close to God and sets a particular path for how we might live our lives - in praise of God and all of God's creation!
Our Scripture passage is found in the Letter to the Ephesians. You may find the Scripture lesson by selecting the following link: (Ephesians 1:3-14).
For continuing study, reflect on these questions (found in the study guide below):
This week, we build on our discussion of Psalm 148 last week regarding our praise of God. The theme for our Scripture this week is the understanding that we were not only made to praise God, but that through praise and worship of God, we continually discover and realize our gifts given to us from God and become willing participants in God's mission of love and mercy in the world. After reading the assigned Scripture lesson from Ephesians, reflect on words or phrases that may have captured this stated theme for you.
After reading the "WHAT..." paragraph in the guide below, reflect on the author's statements that "we are made for praise and worship of God" and "we come to understand ourselves and our place in God's plan and purpose through the very knowledge of God's ordered creation." Do you feel drawn toward God and have a better awareness of God and God's plan for you as you praise and worship God?
After reading the "WHERE..." paragraph below, reflect on the author's two statements that some might understand as being in tension with each other: "grace in the Scripture text is a great expression of the doctrine of salvation as absolutely free, gained without any human merit," and also, "the importance of human action (in response to God and God's desire for us to be holy and blameless)." Reflect how salvation is gained without any human action or merit, yet human action is of great importance to God.
After reading the "SO WHAT..." paragraph below, reflect on the author's statement that "grace and peace characterize Christ's ekklesia" and that "our mistakes do not make us mistakes in God's eyes." How do these words give you comfort, and how do these words give you courage to go out in the world and take action for God, without any fear of failure?
After reading the "NOW WHAT..." paragraph below, answer the following: in the light of election, redemption, and final hope, what are the four marks of the Christian life, and how do these marks help you in your Christian life?