Monday, October 12, 2009

Those were the good old days ! (Eph. 1)

Ephesians is one of the most exuberant of Paul's epistles. Penned from a Roman prison, this letter celebrates the overwhelming goodness of God that the people at Ephesus had come to know through Paul's ministry. It was a Ephesus that Paul spent two years, settled in one place, teaching routinely in the same place day after day. His lessons were avidly attended, and students fanned out throughout Anatolia to share the good news of this Kingdom Paul described, and demonstrated. His laundry wasn't safe -- folks swiped his "tidy whities" as aids to prayer. The impact of his message threatened the town's major industry, the temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. At least, some of the peripheral industries around this temple felt threatened, and provoked a riot. At this point, we learn that several of the regional governors, the asiarchs, considered Paul a personal friend.

Well, that was all a while ago. Yet, people who experienced extraordinary events together have a bond that transcends decades. There are reasons why older soldiers seek out each others' company. Why school reunions commemorate and try to recreate the incandescent few years some of the people enjoyed. Some of this gratitude for shared grace shines through Paul's initial statements:
Eph 1:3 Bizi Mesih'te her ruhsal kutsamayla göksel yerlerde kutsamış olan Rabbimiz İsa Mesih'in Babası Tanrı'ya övgüler olsun.
Eph 1:4 O kendi önünde sevgide kutsal ve kusursuz olmamız için dünyanın kuruluşundan önce bizi Mesih'te seçti.
Eph 1:5 Kendi isteği ve iyi amacı uyarınca İsa Mesih aracılığıyla kendisine oğullar olalım diye bizi önceden belirledi.
Eph 1:6 Öyle ki, sevgili Oğlu'nda bize bağışladığı yüce lütfu övülsün.
I've highlighted the first person plural (we, us, our) references.

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