Lectionary Year B
April 2, 2000
Ephesians 2:1-10

Step V: Hermeneutical Bridge


A. SUMMARY OF SALIENT FEATURES

(JH) a) This passage is about God and what God has done for us and with us to bring the realm of God into the present.
b) There is rich creation theology language of darkness to light in the saving grace of Jesus Christ. God's creation is good, God's gift of Christ is good and we are to respond (or we are to allow God's reign to work through us in the unity of a community). We are re-recreated in this language.
c) The sins and trespasses are not enumerated, only categorized as part of the order of darkness.

(CC) 1) The issue of works not honored in the redemption of Jesus
2) The sinful condition of human beings before God intervenes
3) Movement from being dead in ones sins into the love, goodness, mercy, and grace of God
4) Topic of works is central to the passage

B. SMOOTH TRANSLATION

(CC) 1. And you being dead in your trespasses and your sins. 2. In which you once lived according to the course of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, the spirit that is now working in the children of disobedience. 3. In whom also we all conducted ourselves once in lusts of our flesh, following the desires of the flesh and of the thoughts; and we were by nature, children of wrath, like every one else. 4. But God, who is rich in mercy, because his great love which he loved us. 5. Even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ, by grace you have been saved. 6. And He raised us up with him, and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. 7. That He might show in the ages to come the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8. For by grace, you have been saved, through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. 9. Not of works, so that no one should boast. 10. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God previously prepared that we should walk in them.

C. HERMENEUTICAL BRIDGE

(JH) "The Holy in the Ordinary" by Ann Weems

This poetic piece from Kneeling in Bethlehem reminds me that this passage is given to us during Lent, on our journey to Bethlehem. We are God's creativity called through the morning fog of hecticness, through the traffic jams of busied lives, or from the feelings of separation caused by wrong turns. When we feel so inadequate it is time to reflect on what it means to be a child of the light. What does Holy mean to us (to be created in God) when we feel so ordinary and so disconnected?

Holy is the time and holy is this place,
    and there are holy things that must be said.

Let us say to one another what our souls whisper . . .
    O Holy One, cast your tent among us;
    come into our ordinary lives and bless the living!

Forty days stretch before us,
    forty days of hungering after faithfulness,
       forty days of trying to understand the story,
       and the Holy Week . . .
O God, if every week were holy . . .

these forty days stretch before us,
    and those of us who believe
       yearn to feel Your presence,
       yearn to be Your people;
    and yet, the days fill with ordinary things
       with no time left
       for seeking the holy.

Spiritual contemplation is all right
    for those who have the time,
    but most of us have to make a living.

Most of us have to live in the real world
    where profanity splashes and blots our
       anything holy.

Where, O Holy One, can we find You in this unholy mess?

    How, O God, can we find the holy in the ordinary?



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