Going Deeper 07.08.2021

The second reading for Pentecost 7... Ephesians 1:3-14

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.

For today's devotional, I am sharing with you these eloquent words from a commentary on this text from Israel Kamudzandu, Professor of New Testament at St. Paul School of Theology: Ephesians 1:3-14 is a celebration of God, who from the beginning of times wrote the script and melody of human life, as well as the natural order of things. Creation’s music and the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ reveals something of the attributes of God’s mystery. The mystery summons people to live together as siblings because Christ’s death and resurrection formed humanity into a new creation. More importantly, God’s mystery signals to all believers that God is not as impulsive as humans are, but that the divine nature of the creator is deeply intentional.  

In Ephesians 1:3-14, the writer invites Christian believers to sing a spiritual hymn, one that centers all souls on the orderliness of the creator. Three words captivate the mind, soul and heart of the reader: “chosen, redeemed, and sealed” (Ephesians 1:3–10). Humanity and every individual human being is not an accident, but we are all enshrined in the blanket of the divine. The opening outburst of verses 3-5 is a joyful celebration of what God, in and through Jesus Christ, did in bringing believers into an “already but not yet” world of salvation. Believers’ lives are embedded in the life of the resurrected one, not just for now, but for all eternity. In any event, Ephesians 1:3-14 does not claim that Christians are in any way out of the world, but as resurrected and Pentecost people, their daily lives must be Christ-like. Having been repositioned in Christ, redeemed, chosen, and sealed, Christians are to live into this new realized eschatology, that is a space where God’s Kingdom is already manifested. In other words, Christians are to embody God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit in all what they do, say and perceive.

So very well stated.  

Chosen, Redeemed and Sealed with You,

Mark Gabbert, Pastor

Zion Lutheran Church, Wellington

"Gratefully Growing Servants"