We are indeed privileged to be able to read the letter that is referred to as the letter to the Ephesians. We can indeed read it, but I also love the fact that it was written so its target audience would be able to hear it. More likely than not a gathering would sit and listen to this letter being read to them.
Luke’s follow up to his gospel account recorded the time Paul spent in Ephesus. It records how he spent many months in the location and when he was on his way back to Jerusalem, sensing he would never see the folks from the area, he gathered the elders to have one tearful final conversation with them. This same Paul, then, is talking to this beloved body of believers and he is eager that they hear what he has to say to them.
Listening to the whole letter to the church in Ephesus takes less than 25 minutes. If is a rollercoaster ride through the heights of the grace of God to the depths of our conditions before Christ and around the encouragement to live in a manner worthy of Christ. Ecstatic praise, heartfelt prayer, stern warnings, passionate calls to truthful, loving hours living in the light.
Listening to it highlights the critical role relationships play in a fruitful life on purpose. Relationship to God through Jesus Christ, relationships with each other, relationships to the outside world, even relationships to the opponents we face in heavenly places. Knowing who we are by relationship with God us truly foundational to living right in every other aspect of life.
Just to listen to the letter though is heavily informative on an individual and collective way. Before considering it in its parts, it’s good to hear it as a whole.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden