Hello! Welcome back to Ephesians. Today's section features the template for prayer according to Paul, or at the very least an example of effective prayer according to Paul, how Paul views his relationship with Christ, and the call to "holy" living in the traditional sense of being "set apart" and different from those around us. Whether or not you agree with everything Paul has to say moving forward its healthy for our faith to engage in discernment. So, let's jump in and see how God moves in your spirit today.
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
Do you view holiness living as a spiritual discipline (aka healthy boundaries) or as a restriction? Why or why not for each?
In Paul's prayer he prays that people have "power" - but not in the traditional sense; rather the power to comprehend the deep love of Christ. How do you understand "power" in relation to your Christian faith?
We have another Bible Project video to watch today. This is one of their 'word study' videos that teaches about the origin and meaning of popular Biblically based words. Today's is on the word "shalom" meaning "peace". Let's see how the principles of shalom still apply today and how we can make the wish of this word be true in our lives and those around us.
What is something new you learned from this? Journal that experience if time permits.
Praying the Hymns
Our prayer for today is inspired by hymn 319 in our hymnal - Christ Jesus Lay in Death's Strong Bands. I've certainly never heard this hymn before but the lyrics are strikingly fitting for the content of Ephesians and on a personal note I think they are very pretty! Let's join together in praying this hymn either aloud or simply by meditating on the words or music.
Traditional Version with full orchestra but a little hard to hear the words
"Contemporary" Version where the words are much more at the forefront. Take your pick :)
1. Christ Jesus lay in death's strong bands,
for our offenses given;
but now at God's right hand he stands,
and brings us life from heaven;
wherefore let us joyful be,
and sing to God right thankfully
loud songs of Alleluia!
2. It was a strange and dreadful strife
when life and death contended;
the victory remained with life;
the reign of death was ended.
Stripped of power, no more it reigns,
an empty form alone remains;
death's sting is lost forever!
3. So let us keep the festival
whereto the Lord invites us;
Christ is himself the joy of all,
the Sun that warms and lights us.
By his grace he doth impart
eternal sunshine to the heart;
the night of sin is ended!
4. Then let us feast this Easter day on the true bread of heaven; the Word of grace hath purged away the old and wicked leaven. Christ alone our souls will feed; he is our meat and drink indeed; faith lives upon no other! Alleluia!