I am praying that our just-completed series The Table has stirred some thoughtfulness in our lives. As we looked at five different table encounters with Jesus, I hope we all learned the value of being more intentional about creating space at our tables to share with people who need what we have.
A recent research found that since the mid 90's, an estimated 40 million adults who used to attend church at least once a week now attend less than once a year! Wow! But what was also fascinating about this research was that nearly 70% of them said they would return if asked. Who in your world would come to your table or to church if you just asked them?
As a church, we jump from one challenge to another. This Sunday we will begin a new eight-week series through Ephesians. We chose Ephesians because it's a book that can help give us a fresh understanding of who God is, and with Him, what the purpose of our life is. I believe God is at work in our lives to restore us into being His incredible masterpiece. He works in our lives to restore us to Himself and to each other. We search and long for being loved and known. We have an Artist, our Creator, who was intentional, passionate, and purposeful in making us.
The Apostle Paul is the author of this letter to encourage the many Christians in the city of Ephesus, an impressive port city in modern-day Turkey. Ephesus was filled with scholars and teachers. The temple of the Greek goddess Artemis was there, considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Like cities of today, Ephesus had problems. There were more than 50 temples in the city, all dedicated to pagan gods, making prostitution commonplace as part of worship. This was Paul's motivation to write a letter to his friends to encourage them.
Do you see how important studying Ephesians can be for us? Last fall, we talked about our need to Love the City. Some of us got up every morning to pray for our cities at 6:33. Ephesians was written to people like us to help us grasp God's purpose. When the Ephesian Christians heard Paul's message and shared it with their neighbors, it unleashed the Gospel and flooded the city.
I've had many conversations with people who ask, "Who am I? What is my purpose?" As we journey through Ephesians, I hope you will see that each one of us is a Masterpiece. Join us this Sunday at 9:00 or 10:40 am either in person or online.
P.S. I invite you to join us as we read through Ephesians together. You can download your own Ephesians reading plan here: Ephesians Reading Plan https://drive.google.com/file/d/1D7bVSi99TudENJyPNHHtQD4_ysQQBpd3/view
Grace & Peace,