Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ephesians' Opening Prayer

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 -- Week of Proper 29, Year 2
Kamehameha and Emma, King and Queen of Hawaii, 1864, 1885

[Go to http://www.missionstclare.com/english/index.html for an online version of the Daily Office including today's scripture readings.]

Today's Readings for the Daily Office (Book of Common Prayer, p. 995)
Psalms 119:145-176 (morning)     //     128, 129, 130 (evening)
Zechariah 12:1-10
Ephesians 1:3-14
Luke 19:1-10

The prayer that opens Ephesians is so beautiful.  It opens with blessings offered toward God and acknowledgement of the blessings God has given us:

Bless the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  He has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing that comes from heaven.  (1:3, CEB)

It continues with an expression of thanksgiving that God has chosen us and loved us.  God has honored us as the "adopted children" of the divine -- "grace... given to us freely" through Jesus.  How fortunate we are!  It is good to remember and to be thankful.

But the gift and privilege of this love is not ours alone, it is not a monopoly of Christians like me.  The writer insists that the now-revealed mystery of the hidden design of God is "to bring all things together in Christ, the things in heaven along with the things on earth."  (1:10b)  Everything belongs.  All is one and all will be one. 

It is an honor, the writer says, to be "the first to hope in Christ."  It is good that we have heard and responded to the divine love.  But ultimately, it is not about us.  It is about Christ and Christ's glory.  The glory of Christ is that all things will be brought together under the divine glory of God, "who accomplishes everything according to his design." (1:11b) 

We have been given the Holy Spirit as a pledge and foretaste of that which will be given to all. 


What a glorious prayer to open this day!  Blessing and thanksgiving for the love and privilege we have been given.  Hope and optimism for the completion of God's work for the healing and union of everything and everyone.

What can I do today to cooperate with God's work?  How can I extend the love and blessing I have been given?


Lowell
_______________



Audio podcast:  Listen to an audio podcast of the most recent Morning Reflections from today and the past week.  Go to: http://www.stpaulsfay.org/id244.html

About Morning Reflections
"Morning Reflections" is a brief thought about the scripture readings from the Daily Office of Morning and Evening Prayer according to the practice found in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church.

Morning Prayer begins on p. 80 of the Book of Common Prayer.
Evening Prayer begins on p. 117
An online resource for praying the Daily Office is found at http://www.missionstclare.com/english/index.html

Another form of the office from Phyllis Tickle's "Divine Hours" is available on our partner web site www.ExploreFaith.org at this location

The Mission of St. Paul's Episcopal Church
is to explore and celebrate
God's infinite grace, acceptance, and love.

See our Web site at www.stpaulsfay.org

Our Rule of Life: 
We aspire to...
    worship weekly
    pray daily
    learn constantly
    serve joyfully 
    live generously.

Lowell Grisham, Rector
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Fayetteville, Arkansas

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