I know this may be hard for many people to understand or even imagine, but I wake up every Sunday morning – without fail – literally jazzed and excited that once again I have the privilege of going to church.
I love everything about Sunday morning. I’m drawn to the wonderful people; I let the amazing music flow through me; I drink in the inspirational, encouraging messages; I can sense the authenticity of spirit; I am captivated by the reading of God’s word; I thrill at the exhilaration of being with so many people who are bound together by a common love; I’m overwhelmed by the profound sense of God’s presence in worship; I look forward to the smiling, the hugging, the shaking hands….
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE: And then there’s my Sunday morning study group. Our church offers, I believe, eight different “Christian Education” classes for adults (plus Sunday-school for kids of all grades). My class – the one I co-teach with the inestimable (and inimitable) Charles Willard – is deep in the process of discussing the entire New Testament at the breakneck pace of one book per week.
Today we’re scheduled to talk about Ephesians. This amazing book is dense with memorable passages and challenging ideas. What a cool conversation to enjoy with a bunch of intelligent, thoughtful co-travelers along the Way of Jesus.
Ephesians includes the following gems:
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace…” (chapter 2)
“I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God…” (chapter 3)
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us, and gave himself for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God….” (chapter 5)
“For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light…” (chapter 5)
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm…” (chapter 6)
“Peace be to the whole community, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (chapter 6)
Wow! How could anyone possibly not want to go to church this morning? or possibly not come to our “Everyday Christianity” morning study group? Wild horses couldn’t drag me away….