Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus and are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 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
Were this series to be called Daily Scholarship it may be interesting to study the much debated question of whether or not Paul wrote the letter to the Ephesians, but it’s Daily Devotions, so that question is for another time and place.
Perhaps you have been on the London Eye? You may well have seen it, or a picture of it. It looks like a giant ferris wheel, rising to 450 feet above the ground. There are thirty-two capsules, each taking up to twenty people. It takes about half an hour to rotate, so slow that it almost looks, from a distance, like it isn’t moving. From it, on a clear day, there is an amazing view of all the landmarks and historic buildings and spaces of London (and all the rubbish, too); and the Eye itself is a wonderful view.
The point that I want to make is that the letter to the Ephesians is to to the rest of Paul’s (we’ll call the author that, whoever you think it was) letters rather like the London Eye is to London. Ephesians is not the longest letter, not the first letter, and nor is it fullest letter, but from the letter to the Ephesians we get an awe-inspiring view of all the features of the letters, all the themes of the earliest Christian tradition in turn: God, Jesus, the Church, the world, salvation, how Christians should behave, and so on.
So, before we travel through this letter in coming days, pause and take stock of the landscape, and as you do ponder a faithful God, a loving heavenly Father, a God who came close to us in Jesus and lifts us closer to himself and adopts us as part of the Christian family. As you ponder these things, hold them before God until you are ready to pray.
Loving heavenly Father, ever-living source of all that is good, keep me faithful in serving you. Help me to drink of Christ’s truth, and fill my heart with his love so that I may serve you in faith and love and reach eternal life. Keep me in your presence. Let me never be separated from you, and help me to do your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Revd Michael Hopkins, Minister of Farnham and Elstead URCs, and Clerk of the General Assembly