Greetings and the grace of God be with you!
Ephesians has been called “the queen of the epistles” by Dr. William Barclay and many other biblical scholars. This epistle, or letter, contains everything you need to explain the faith in one compact package.
Ephesians divides neatly into two halves. The first half, chapters 1-3, provide a theological foundation for the faith. The second half, chapters 4-6, focuses on the ethical dimensions of the faith: how do we live it out? It reminds us that faith is not simply about believing, but about living.
Many, if not most, scholars would tell us that it was not written by Paul, and that it was not really written to a specific church in Ephesus but was designed to be passed from church to church and community to community. Since is it not contextualized to any one church or community it becomes an even better guide as we seek to live out our faith as United Methodists by making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
We will be looking at the two different parts of Ephesians. Think of it like the first half of a season of your favorite TV show. In the first three weeks of our “miniseries,” we will focus on the last word of our series: Gearing Up for Life. The first three chapters of Ephesians are the theological foundations of our faith. This is the why part of Ephesians. Why do we embrace this life of faith? Why have we been given this blessing, this opportunity, this grace? These are the core themes of our faith.
Then the second four-week miniseries focuses on the first two words of our series: Gearing Up for Life. This is the how part of the letter. Because of the grace in the first half of the letter, these last four weeks are the how-to to live our life as God intended.
So, as we get ready to get back on the discipleship path, grow in our faith, and seek to reach out to our Nolensville community wouldn’t it be a great time to get ourselves geared up? A great time to gear up for the Fall for church with events like Promotion Sunday & Blessing of the Backpacks on August 7, our Block Party on August 14, Beersheba Retreat on September 16-18, and new Wednesday night opportunities (coming in September.) Or maybe it is starting a new year at school, a new job, or a promotion at work, or whatever.
The letter to the Ephesians is about gearing up, about making sure that our faith is not just a head thing but also a heart thing. It is about living out the faith and remember who we are and whose we are. It is about being good to be blessed and belong. It is good to remind ourselves that we are not alone, but a part of something bigger than ourselves.
I know that after moving at the beginning of July, experiencing my first Vacation Bible School here last month, trying to unpack in between everything else, and with all the other transitions like traveling back and forth from Hendersonville that I have experienced, I am ready to start a new time in our life together. I need to get myself into another gear. Maybe you do too?
Let’s do it together! Would you join me in reading Ephesians over the next seven weeks and seeing how it can gear us up for life?
Ephesians: Geared Up for Life
Aug 7 Setting Our Hope (Ephesians 1)
Aug 14 He is Our Peace (Ephesians 2)
Aug 21 Rooted & Grounded in Love (Ephesians 3)
Aug 28 A Life Worthy (Ephesians 4:1-16)
Sept 4 Speaking Truth (Ephesians 4:25-5:2)
Sept 11 Giving Thanks (Ephesians 5)
Sept 18 Armored (Ephesians 6)
Blessings in Christ,