From Chris Dodds
In our NT reading for today, Paul writes to the church at Ephesus and tells them that because of their faith in the Lord Jesus and their love for all the saints, he doesn’t cease to give thanks for them (v15-16). Using this blog post as my means of writing to you all, I want to share the same sentiments as Paul.
Since beginning my role back in August, I’ve not only got to hear of your faith and love, but to experience it first hand. Each week I experience your loving generosity in preparing and serving food for our Sunday lunches and dinners together, making newcomers feel welcome and strengthening existing relationships around the meal table. Each week I’m blown away by the 70 or so scheduled volunteers who serve as musicians, sound technicians, hosts, readers, MC’s, PowerPoint Clickers, Children’s Ministry volunteers, Youth Group leaders, and chalice bearers, and who pray for people, help set-up, pack-up, lock-up, and prepare the Table. Each week I’m blessed to serve alongside an incredible team of neighborhood group leaders who are striving to present people mature in Christ, opening their homes so people can meet in small groups to pray, study, eat, laugh, cry and serve together, and each week I praise God for the testimonies of people who are finding these smaller expressions of our church family places of real belonging and spiritual encouragement. Each week as I pray through our daily biddings in our CotC prayer books, I’m reminded of your faith in our Lord Jesus and your love of his people around the world through your partnership with missionaries around the globe, and the practical expressions of Christ-like love through our Seeking the Welfare of the City partnerships here in Boston. On a more personal level, Kara and I also experience your reflection of of God’s love toward us. Like Paul as he reflects on the church in Ephesus, I want you to know that we also do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in our prayers. We know the cost and sacrifice of your serving and assure you it doesn’t go unnoticed. We are thankful and praise God for your love for Him and one-another. It’s a tremendous testimony to the gospel.
After giving thanks, Paul goes on to pray for the Ephesian church, and his prayer is this - “that the God of our Lord Jesus, the Father of Glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him” (v17). It is not a prayer for new blessings, because he has already made it clear earlier in the chapter that in Christ the Father has blessed us with every blessing in the heavenly places (v4). Instead, this is a prayer for increased knowledge of these things - specifically the hope to which he has called us (v18), the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints (v18), and the immeasurable greatness of his power to us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at the right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come (v19-22). We’ve just celebrated Easter together and declared the victory of God over sin and death, and now, in our new series called Resurrection Matters, we have a great opportunity to explore the implications of this extraordinarily good news together. As we enter this study our prayer is the same one as Paul for the church. Would you join us in praying that the Father of Glory will give us a spirit of wisdom and a revelation of the knowledge of him. Pray that we will have our eyes opened to the full implications of the victory Christ has won, to the hope to which he has called us, the riches of his glorious inheritance and the immeasurable greatness of his power to us who believe.
I’m excited and thankful to God for the opportunity to journey through this season with you all. Grace and peace in Christ.