Many of us find meaning in who we are, where we come from, what we do for a living, or where we live. The list is long and we try to squeeze that significance, or the best of us, into our 140-character bio. We label ourselves, we are labelled by others, and our cultures tells us to find and express ourselves. It’s all quite confusing, disorienting, and we are left clinging to mishmash of views or stories about ourselves. This mosaic forms our identity.
Ephesians 3:14-21 is prayer for the Church to understand, know, and grasp the power and depths of God’s love. With this prayer Paul wraps up one large section on what God has done for us in the gospel and who the church is. Now, Paul will turn his attention to encouraging and urging the church to be and live in accordance to their calling. Before he does that, he prays for us to know God’s love.
In January, Brad shared a teaching on the vision and direction of Soma for 2018 and the next ten years. He shared on behalf of the elders and we would love to remind you of this vision as we head into the final months of this year. You can listen here. Essentially, we’re praying for and hoping for revival. What follows is a summary of Brad’s talk.
In Ephesians 3:1-13, Paul wraps up the first half of his letter which is all about the power gospel. While chapter two highlighted the power of the gospel, chapter three talks about the purpose of the gospel: that what God has done in you (Ephesians 2), God wants to also do through you (Ephesians 3:1-13). The good news isn’t just for us, it’s for the world.
Every community and common mission is unique. The cookie cutter doesn’t exist and there’s no sense in trying. However, the main questions are always the same, even when the answers are numerous. The best place to start with your mission isn’t activity but listening. Listen to the people you are sent to and reflect on how their lives might intersect the gospel and community.
You don’t have to read the papers, watch the news, or scroll through social media to know this pervasive truth: the world is not as it should be. Society is not right. Culture is corrupt. Institutions are failing. The market is not moral. Humans, in our sin, are destroying the earth as fast as we can, only to be outdone by the destroying of one-another.
In Ephesians 2:1-10, Paul describes grace. The human heart can hardly conceive of a world where grace is the highest truth. Where God’s mercy triumphs over death. Where God’s love outlasts our sin. But Paul says it does. In fact, Paul says in this passage that God’s grace shown to us is immeasurable.