Good News: A Weekly Update from St Thomas Church—July 23, 2015
From this coming Sunday’s second reading, we hear these words:
“I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
Letter to the Ephesians 3:14-21
For a variety of reasons, there is some question as to whether this letter was indeed written by Paul, or even if it was written specifically to the followers of Jesus in Ephesus, but that’s another story. Whatever its origin and background, this section of the letter offers a beautiful prayer of support and encouragement for Christians in every generation, including, and perhaps especially, our own, that we, too, may be “...rooted and grounded in love...”
This past week I happened to see an obituary for a woman who had been part of my parish when I was in Susquehanna, PA. Trudy and her husband, Ed, had been retired for some time when I arrived, and were enjoying a large piece of property and an ever increasing family. Their children were mostly Methodists, and one son was a Methodist pastor. But Trudy and Ed were solid Episcopalians – always had been, always would be. They attended worship regularly, and were always available for projects – whether it be painting or construction, or baking and hosting church dinners, bake sales or rummage sales, or providing hospitality for ecumenical events or visits by the bishop. They were there. As I read Trudy’s obituary, I could see (and smell) pies, hot out of the oven, paint spattered faces, full of smiles, questioning looks as we had conversations about the latest happenings in the larger church. Some sense of conservatism, but always with an open mind. They were truly rooted and grounded in love, and strengthened in their inner being with power through Christ’s Spirit. I know I was blessed to have them in my life and share ministry with them.
The ministry we share is full of challenges and blessings. May we all be so rooted and grounded in love, and so filled with the power of the Spirit that we may “...accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine...” to the Glory of God.
Peace and blessing,
Let us pray:
O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: Increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we lose not the things eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.