Nov 24, 2014

Giving Thanks in the Spirit and the Fellowship

Ephesians 5:18-20
On Thursday of this week, citizens of the United States will celebrate Thanksgiving, a national holiday dedicated to thanking God for his blessings. In reality, of course, for many Americans, this holiday is actually dedicated more to feasting and football than to gratitude. But, it seems good, nevertheless, to focus...Read more +
Nov 21, 2014

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

Psalm 122:1-9
It seems sadly ironic that Psalm 122:6 is still just as relevant today as it was when it was written about three millennia ago. If anything, the peace of Jerusalem is even more fragile and more essential to the well-being of the world than it was when David first composed...Read more +
Nov 20, 2014

Christ Feeds and Cares for the Church

Ephesians 5:25-33
This section of Ephesians 5 is based on a commonsensical observation: people nourish and take care of their own bodies. Of course, we can think of instances in which this is not true, cases where people have not fed or nurtured their bodies. But Paul is not worrying about the...Read more +
Nov 19, 2014

Christ Washes the Church

Ephesians 5:25-33
Christ, as head of the church, loved the church and gave himself up for her. But his sacrifice was not merely a demonstration of ultimate love. It also had a purpose: “to make [the church] holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her...Read more +
Nov 18, 2014

A Curious Tangent or the Main Point?

Ephesians 5:22-33
Just about every commentary on Ephesians labels 5:22-33 something like “Instructions for Marriage,” and for good reason. This passage focuses on the relationship between husband and wife. It is the first section of a three-part household code that also speaks to relationships between children and parents as well as slaves...Read more +
Nov 17, 2014

Should Wives Love Their Husbands Also?

Ephesians 5:22-33
Ephesians 5:25 tells husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Verse 28 adds that husbands should “love their wives as their own bodies.” Verse 33 reiterates that “each husband must love his wife as he loves himself.” This passage leaves no doubt about the primary responsibility of...Read more +
Nov 14, 2014

Does the Lord Really Keep Us from All Harm?

Psalm 121:1-8
At first glance, Psalm 121:7 offers tremendous assurance. The Lord will keep us from all harm! Wow! That sounds wonderful. If I only live my life in relationship with God, then I will be kept from all harm. I won’t suffer hardship or pain. My life will be filled only...Read more +
Nov 13, 2014

Do Husbands Have Authority over Their Wives?

Ephesians 5:25-33
Roman society was one of the most stratified and hierarchical in all of human history. Members of this society knew their place. This meant, among other things, that they knew plenty about submission to authority. Virtually every person in the first-century Roman world submitted to higher authorities, except, perhaps Caesar...Read more +
Nov 12, 2014

Headship and Unity

Ephesians 5:22-24
In yesterday’s reflection , we began to examine the sense of the word “head” in Ephesians 5:23 and the following verses. We saw that head, used metaphorically in this passage, could mean “authority” or “source.” We noted that Ephesians 5 associates headship with the sacrificial love of Christ, as well...Read more +
Nov 11, 2014

Seeking the Sense of Headship

Ephesians 5:22-24
Ephesians 5:23 gives a reason why wives should submit to their husbands: “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” This verse has stirred up all sorts of scholarly debate about the intended...Read more +