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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Friday, July 13, 2018

Today’s Scripture Reading | 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. (NRSV)

If you try to drink a tall glass of water all in one swig, you will get a lot of water on your face! It’s too much water to take in one swallow! One commentator pointed out that this whole reading is one long sentence in the Greek. Reading it feels something like this:

“Bless God who is also the God of Jesus and Father of Jesus who blessed us with blessings and Jesus was with God since before the beginning of anything and God always had a plan and knew what the plan was because God planned it and the plan was about blessing us and adopting us along with Jesus and buying us out of slavery and making us all part of the same family of God because God is wise and understanding and very forgiving even of our failures and was able to accomplish all the things that God had planned since before the beginning and this was the plan for the future too when we all get united with Christ and this is why it’s important to honor God because God gets the whole plan done exactly like the plan was and you know it’s true which is really great and that’s a promise which begins with the Holy Spirit and getting the Holy Spirit is just the beginning of being the family of God and that saves us and just goes to prove how great God is!”

So take a deep breath, and begin to drink this glass of water slowly. There are blessings more than we can take in and there is belonging that has always been true and will always be true. God has got this in a big way and God’s got you. And me. And all of us. Hallelujah.

Father, Mother God, your blessings are many, sure and strong. Help me trust that you are guiding me, calling me to participate with your plan in the ongoing creation and salvation of this world. Amen.

Written by Nanette Sawyer, Associate Pastor for Discipleship and Small Group Ministry

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