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Ephesians 5:15-20

Proper 15B

Near the middle of this Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson the apostle summons his readers to “understand what the Lord’s will is” (17b). In a letter that he soaks with grace, this may be among the biggest challenges he sets before God’s Ephesian adopted sons and daughters. Paul spends much of the first part of his letter…

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Ephesians 5:8-14

Lent 4A

Few Lectionary texts begin more mysteriously than this Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson.  “You were once darkness,” Paul reminds Ephesus’s Christians, “but now you are light in the Lord” (8). The apostle seems to assert that God’s adopted sons and daughters don’t just naturally live in spiritual darkness.  We naturally are spiritual darkness.  God doesn’t just summon…

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Ephesians 5:15-20

Proper 15B

Intelligence doesn’t necessarily equal wisdom.  In fact, some of us can identify people who rank among the highest on the intelligence quotient (IQ) scale but rank among the lowest on the “wisdom quotient” scale.  Perhaps that’s why our text’s Paul feels the need not to tell his readers to be “intelligent” or “smart,” but to…

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Ephesians 5:8-14

Lent 4A

In one of the verses of this Lectionary selection Paul says that “it is shameless even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.”  Apparently the Lectionary agrees because it has carved out these verses from within a wider context where Paul does name—at least a bit more specifically—what some of those deeds of darkness…

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Ephesians 5:15-20

Proper 15B

Comments and Observations This text is a kind of hinge between the black and white moral exhortations of 4:1-5:14 and the relatively grayer areas of personal relations in the family and the workplace in 5:22-6:9.  Paul’s fierce condemnation of pagan lifestyles and his no nonsense commands for the Christian life have come to a head…

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