Friends, Family, and Members of Knoxville Presbyterian Church,
As we said last month, we want to take this platform to recap our Sunday morning discussions. As many of you know, we are slowly and methodically working our way through the book of Ephesians, while it took us six weeks to make it through the first chapter of the book, only six weeks later and we are now half way through chapter four. Here's a recap: Week Seven we discussed Ephesians 2:1-10. We discussed Paul's geography of sin. We contrasted that with Paul's robust idea of salvation through the following questions: From what are saved? By whom are we saved? To whom are we saved? and For what are we saved? Weeks Eight and Nine, we started a two-part-examination of Ephesians 2:11-17, around the Biblical idea of exclusion and embrace. We closed out these two weeks by stating, "Church is where peace is understood and lived out comprehensively as Christ present and working among us - at the end of the day, this shows us that peace with humanity and peace with Christ are inseparable, and thus the result of Christ's work on the cross." Week Ten we did an overview of Ephesians 2:19-22 and 3:13-21. First, we planted this text within the historical Jewish context through a timeline of Israel, focusing in on the building and meaning of the Temple along with the subsequent rhythm of destruction and exile. We closed out this week saying, "we [the church] are the place where the activity of God in this world is embodied - we are the place, not a building, a people, where heaven and earth becomes one." Week Eleven concentrates on Ephesians 3:1-13 along with Proverbs 8:22-36, and the way Sofia, the divine feminine or Wisdom, takes up residence within the church and thus guides and forms the church into the people of God.Week Twelve, this past week, we studied Ephesians 4:1-16 and discussed the way cognitive bias gets in the way of Paul's original intent for Christian maturity. From the very beginning, our cognitive bias causes us to read this text from an individualistic perspective, then through that bias, our various dispositions cause us to interpret the text, usually in one of two extremes. Below are those two extremes along with a third way.
1. Autonomous Individualization: The lie here is that, like our forefather Cain, we declare, "I am not my brother's keeper"
2. Compartmentalized Outsourcing: We said the common motto here is, "I need to be fed so I can grow."
3. The Third Way: We said that we believe what Paul is calling for is an interdependent community made up of self-differentiated persons acting in mutual submission and transparency toward and with each other.
Welook forward to diving into the rest of Ephesians with you and digging deeper into life in Knoxville! Have a blessed month!
Matthew and Sarah Hansen