Spirit & Life

Everything In Heaven And On Earth

Ephesians 1:3-14
Let us give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! For in our union with Christ he has blessed us by giving us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly world. Even before the world was made, God had already chosen us to be his through our union with Christ, so that we would be holy and without fault before him.
Because of his love God had already decided that through Jesus Christ he would make us his children—this was his pleasure and purpose. Let us praise God for his glorious grace, for the free gift he gave us in his dear Son! For by the blood of Christ we are set free, that is, our sins are forgiven. How great is the grace of God, which he gave to us in such large measure!
In all his wisdom and insight God did what he had purposed, and made known to us the secret plan he had already decided to complete by means of Christ. This plan, which God will complete when the time is right, is to bring all creation together, everything in heaven and on earth, with Christ as head … Let us praise God’s glory!
 
Reflection
Paul must have lifted the spirits of the Church of Ephesus with this letter! His words were rich in meaning. All are included as God’s children in God’s realm – a space of belonging for all men, women and children of all cultures and ages. This was in stark contrast to the layered society with strict rules in which the ancient church lived. Jesus’ life, death and life again, brought a connection across everything in heaven and on earth, an equity that was previously unknown. Belonging to God’s loving ‘family’ emphasizes a radical difference in engaging as believers. There is always a home to belong to, a table where you will be fed, a welcoming space for one more, and always people who will care for you, no matter what your age or health status. God’s family, following Jesus’ teachings, brings a radical way of belonging, and a fundamentally different way of living. Everything in heaven and earth also expresses respect for all the gifts of God’s creation –humanity, animals, sky, earth and waters. What reads as a song of praise and positivity also teaches us about a whole new realm that sits outside our human time, thinking, ordering and prejudices, where open hearts, souls, minds and ways of living, flourish. So many reasons for celebration, hope, inclusion and respect – a gracious space indeed!

Prayer of Confession   
Gentle Spirit,
Sit with me now, as I yearn to hear to your wisdom.
A silence is kept

I have often not followed the Way of Jesus…
I do not always welcome or care for others with the breadth of your love…
I often bring prejudice and judgments into my thoughts and actions…
I sometimes hold on to hurt and self-doubt and let it fester…
In anger, I lash out instead of working towards peace…
In shame, I do not apologize for hurt I have brought to another or in creation…

Gentle Spirit,
Sit with me now, as I yearn to hear to your wisdom.
A silence is kept

Words of Assurance   
Children of God, we are all welcomed to God’s family.
It is one of justice, kindness, love and humble journeying together.
God opens all God’s realm to us.
Jesus shows us new Ways of being.
Holy Spirit flows through God’s realm in Kairos (God’s) time.
From the beginning to evermore,
God’s gracious love is with us.

© Rev Anne Hewitt 30/06/2021
this reflection & prayer may be shared as long as the original writer is credited.

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Rev Anne Hewitt
eo@churchestogethersa.org.au
0475 016 789

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