Moses by John August Swanson. Image from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, Tenn. Original source © 1983 by John August Swanson.
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Preaching Series on Ephesians (3 of 4)
Ephesians 4:1-16 Commentary
by Mary Hinkle Shore
[This is Week 3 of a 4-week preaching series on Ephesians.]
Preaching text: Ephesians 4:1-16; accompanying text: John 15:1-4
Ephesians is ostensibly written by an imprisoned apostle Paul, and here the prisoner in the Lord implores his readers to live worthily of their calling to life without dividing walls or prison bars. The center of the text, however, is not an imperative, but the story of Christ’s astonishing freedom and willingness to descend to earth with the gifts of heaven. We know this plot line from Philippians 2. He did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped. He emptied himself.
Commentators disagree on the order of the descent and ascent described, yet finally, it matters little whether the descent in Ephesians 4 is the pre-incarnation descent of Christ from a place of privilege in the heavens, or what we know better as the post-resurrection descent of the Spirit of Christ with gifts for the church. Either way, heaven and earth, divine and human are not so tidily divided as we imagined, and they ...
| Bible Text
2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL277: Preaching Series on Ephesians
July 30, 2017
This is the podcast for the Narrative Lectionary's 4-week preaching series on Ephesians (July 16-Aug. 6, 2017), featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Kathryn Schifferdecker, and Craig Koester. Podcast recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn.