Pastor's Note | Sunday, May 17th
I am looking forward to our worship services this weekend at which we will be focusing on Ephesians 3.14-21. This is because Paul’s prayer for the believers in Ephesus is written out in these verses and it is a prayer that reflects the heart of the Apostle for those in Ephesus who have committed themselves to following Jesus.
I stress “the Apostle” because we usually identify Paul as such. An Apostle is one who is sent with a message often times sent into cross-cultural settings to convey that message. In Paul’s case, he traveled throughout the Middle East and proclaimed the message of Jesus being the Messiah, the Lord over all things, who was crucified to reconcile humanity to God and who was raised from the dead by the power of God. In doing so, Paul displayed the qualities of an Apostle – persevering even under extremely difficult circumstances, determination to continue to go to new people groups to make Christ known, and fashioning his message so that it was best heard by those different people groups.
Apostles are not the same as Pastors. Pastors are called to provide spiritual nurture and care, to teach and encourage, and to exhort followers of Jesus. This is why I am so fond of this passage in Ephesians. We see the Pastor’s heart of Paul. We get a glimpse of his depth of care. We discover Paul’s sincere hope for the Ephesian Christians – and for us.
This prayer has been my prayer for myself and for all of us who are part of Good Shepherd. I particularly like to pray verses 18 and 19, “to have power together with all the Lord’s holy people to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that all may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
Did you notice that knowing the love of God in its infinite greatness is something we are to do together? It can only happen to the fullest when we are together; praying for one another, sharing what God is doing on our lives, meeting in small groups to experience faith together, serving together, and worshiping together.
Still, togetherness is sometimes impacted by things like transitions into retirement.
Connie and I are looking forward to our next chapter but are also experiencing grief from knowing we will not be together with you in the same ways we have over the past nearly 14 years. This transition is right and good. It is also difficult. We will miss you.
The Apostle-Pastor Paul whose prayer we read in these verses encourages me with his words in verse 21, “to him who is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work in you, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations for ever and ever! Amen.
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