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Final Thoughts on Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians

  • Posted on Mar 3, 2010

And so we leave Ephesians: It’s been a good six weeks together. I’ve had comments from several of you. Over the past six weeks, I wonder if you’ve started to think differently about the Pauline letters. As I have grown older and lived more of my life, I am beginning to relate to Paul’s words differently. For instance, I do believe that there is spiritual warfare in this world. As Mary Jo commented this week, I also believe that there is a good deal of good in the world. There is also evil—and by that I mean a force in the world that harms the created order and is estranged from God. Evil is something more than individual sin. No human being starts out in a place of evil. We are all created in the image of God. I believe that evil arises from a pattern of sin that often starts out very insignificant and builds on itself. For me, the worship, teaching and community life of the church–the Body of Christ–is what keeps me connected to God and allows me to return to God when I fall away. There is also institutional and collective evil that is powerful in a frightening way. It is part of the Christian call to confront that evil and stand firm for the Kingdom of God. As Mary Jo points out, we often feel that we have the corner on what is good and what is evil. We must always be on guard for our own separation from God.

Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith. (1 Peter 4:8-9)

There’s more on this elsewhere in the New Testament….but that’s for another time.

What’s Next:

I hope that we can continue to ponder what it is to live in Christ in the world. I would like to continue the blog. I am thinking of commenting on Phyllis Tickle’s book The Great Emergence which the Tuesday Morning Study Group is reading. What do you think?

I’ll be back with the new topic next week. Until then….Thank you for pondering with me over Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. Blessings always, Martha