Ajith Fernando opened the bible readings with a great examination of Ephesians 1 – my biggest disappointment was there wasn’t more time to hear his thoughts and more time to discuss how we could apply Ephesians 1 into our context in our Table Groups. A couple of quick highlights for you:
- Paul swaps his normal introduction around by inserting the doxology into verses 3-4 before his prayer for the Ephesians.
- Most people come to Christ through a personal need but that is only a fraction of the gospel which is universal and cosmic. They will transfer their ideas about god to their new faith in God, but instead they need to transform their concepts.
- We’ve made the gospel too easy to understand, we need to use our best creativity to show a plan of salvation and God’s cosmic plan.
- When commenting on verses 13-14 Fernando talked about how people are downplaying proclamation of the gospel using the example of St. Francis of Assisi, but Assisi spent all his time using words to persuade people.
- He went on to say the church “believes in proclamation but spends time on other priorities – if people are lost eternally because of this it will be our greatest scandal.”
I was very challenged by his powerful statement on the need to re-engage with creative proclamation – certainly something I want to chew over to think how that could look like in my ministry with young people in Tonbridge.