Reflections on Faith and Community

Dear friends,

On this page, you will find weekly reflections on life and faith. My hope is that, in some way, they will prove helpful to you in your daily living. You can also find them on the church's YouTube Channel in the "Weekly Word" playlist. May God bless you on the spiritual journey.

Andrew S. Odom

01/06/2020 8:13 PM

One Final Christmas Gift

01/06/2020 8:13 PM
01/06/2020 8:13 PM

…so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:12)

Years ago, the Apostle Paul wanted to give the people in the church in Ephesus a gift. The gift comes in the form of the opening lines of the letter, verse 12 serving as the ribbon tied around it all. When you read the beginning of Ephesians, it might help you to picture a giddy little kid slowly opening a huge gift with wide open eager eyes filled with wonder. That’s how Paul wants you to read it. In fact, what you may not know is that all of the opening to Ephesians is one long sentence. That’s right, in the original Greek, it is one long sentence meant for you to slowly savor each phrase as you open this massive gift.

What is the gift? The gift is the grace God has so benevolently given to us in Christ. Here is a summarized, one sentence, version:

“In Christ, we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, for God has chosen us before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love having been destined for adoption as God’s children, since we have redemption through his blood according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us, and God will gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth, for we have obtained an inheritance, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory.”

That is one great big sentence, and one great big gift. Paul’s hope is that you read it with the eagerness of a giddy child opening a present for the first time. My hope is that it reminds of all that God has done for us in Jesus Christ, lavishing grace upon us that we might know the joy that comes with life. It’s one final Christmas gift from me to you.

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