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Ephesians 1:3-14

2nd Sunday after Christmast C

Few Scripture passages are theologically weightier than this Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson. In fact, in an earlier commentary on it, Scott Hoezee remembers once asking the congregation he served about how it would feel if he were from then to on base every sermon on Ephesians 1:3-14. He notes that while most would call it a…

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Ephesians 6:10-20

Proper 16B

The past approximately 17 months have taken a heavy toll on many of this Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson’s proclaimers and hearers. The pandemic and efforts to mitigate its affects have caused great physical, mental and even spiritual suffering. They’ve left us exhausted. What’s more, just when we seemed to have turned a corner, COVID-19 seems to…

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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 4:25-5:2

Proper 14B

“Imitation” may be, as Charles Colton once famously wrote, “the sincerest of flattery.” However, some attempts at imitation may also be the sincerest of sheer folly. A six-year-old might, for example, try to flatter LeBron James by trying to dunk a basketball – with potentially disastrous consequences. Who can, however, as Paul’s calls us in…

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Ephesians 4:1-16

Proper 13B

E Pluribus Unum (“out of many, one”) is one of the United States’ oldest mottoes. It originally reflected the diverse American colonies and colonists’ desire to unite into one nation. However, Ephesians 4 implies that E Pluribus Unum might also be one of the Christian church’s mottoes. After all, it reminds its readers that a…

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Ephesians 3:14-21

Proper 12B

This Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson’s first five words, “I kneel before the Father” (14) suggests that its hearers are eavesdropping on Paul’s prayer. However, the Scriptures’ prayers always almost make me wonder, “How do you preach about an inspired yet overheard prayer?” and “Should we even preach about an overheard prayer?” But Jesus’ friends might argue…

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Ephesians 2:11-22

Proper 11B

Could Paul say anything more counter-cultural yet hopeful than Christ has made the two one? (14). We live, after all, in a world that’s deeply divided along so many lines. In fact, the gaps those fault lines create also seem to be widening. Democrats vs. Republicans. Liberal Party members vs. Conservative Party members. Vaxxers vs….

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Ephesians 1:3-14

Proper 10B

Christians know that God didn’t create us to “eat, drink and be merry because tomorrow we die.” Yet that popular philosophy raises a number of interesting questions. It makes us wonder how God’s people should evaluate the purpose of our lives. How do we think about why God has put us here? Something in a…

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Ephesians 2:1-10

Lent 4B

Grace is what my colleague Scott Hoezee calls “the dearest piece of good news the church has for the world.” It’s also, however, what he calls, “fiercely difficult to grasp.” After all, grace has always been a source of both deep comfort and frustration, of both joy and even controversy for Christians. Jonah, for instance,…

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Symposium 2021: Sermon on Ephesians 6:10-18

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