Scripture Reading — Ephesians 3:16-19
May [you] have power, together … to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ …
Ephesians 3:17-18 —
Every message we receive in life has a core point. At times the core of a message can be obscure, and at other times it can be clear. Paul’s prayer here brings us to the core of the gospel message. The starting point of the Christian gospel (“good news”) is “to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.”
Grasping the core message is not just something individuals do, isolated from others. The core gospel message is just too big for individuals to grasp by themselves. The full impact of the message is enhanced when it is received “together with all the Lord’s people.”
Yes, salvation is personal, and God cares for individual members of the community, but personal faith finds greater meaning and more power when it is understood to be more than just “me.” So the gospel emphasizes the community of faith, not just the individual.
The biblical concept of community comes from the Old Testament teaching about God’s covenant relationship with an entire people—the people of Israel. That same focus is carried forward into the New Testament church, which makes up the new people of God in Christ. Belonging to a church is an important part of being a follower of Jesus Christ. Being in community gives vibrancy and power to personal faith. Do you live by faith as part of a community of fellow believers in Jesus?
Thank you, Father, for the gift of your good news that inspires faith in your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank you that we can experience this faith in the community of your people. Amen.