"I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all,  and all for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers.  I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened you may know what is the hope to which he has called you,..."

Ephesians 1:15-18a NRSV

These are verses of scripture on which I contemplate my discipleship.  And now I offer it to you for the same purpose of reflection, spiritual growth and community discipleship.  Either Paul or one of his students crafted a magnificent prayer for the community of believers in Ephesus, and to all communities as well as individual believers through the ages.  This is only part of the prayer given to the faithful in the first chapter of the Letter to the Ephesians, starting with verse 15 to the end of the chapter.  It is a prayer of thanksgiving and a prayerful request for the enlightenment of the faithful -- to the benefit of all.

And that's how it has focused my reflection on life, relationships, and loving the other in the Way of Jesus.  Let me walk you through the verses with the questions that have come to me as I reflect: 1) "I have heard of your faith...." - Has anyone  heard of the faith because I live?  Is my faith evident to others in my actions?  Is the faith known because it is being clearly lived and shared?  2) "....I do not cease to give thanks...." - Does my living the faith create thankfulness in me, in the other?  Is the spirit of thankfulness evident in my actions?  Do I share my thankfulness with all who assist me through the day, either with my words or through my actions and my prayers?  3) "....God....may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him...."  With the enormity of the ever changing wisdom of God and the dynamics of human life, am I open to the necessity of change as a follower of Jesus?  Just as all changed in Resurrection Day because God was there so long ago, so all continues to change moment by moment, because God is here today and tomorrow forever. Am I ready to receive and live my daily resurrection by the God of Life?  4) "....with the eyes of your heart enlightened you may know what  is the hope to which he has called you,...." - Looking beyond the eyes that focus on this world, are the eyes of my heart open to God's enlightenment?  Does fear possess me as a disciple stuck at the cross?  Am I open to the Spirit to warm my fears away and open me to live in hope today?  Lord, help me see the hope you see, you know, and you create that I may live it for my sisters and brothers and for a world you yearn to create -- for us, your children.

After a time of silence, I moved into the rest of the God created day.  May you find growth and life in this text as I do.

Peace, blessings and life to you and yours always.

Bruce E. Dalious, Interim Pastor